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Full text of "The centennial history of the town of Dryden. 1797-1897"

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3 1833 01178 5141 


p I B l\Z, /iriecK map irx ^V.acK 
pS'Cket of book after 'feacn i 


I tin oil pnitrait painted in Albany in the year 1831 or 1832, while he was a representative 
of Tompkins county in the State Legislature, the original oil painting still 
being in the possession of his descendants. 

TH e 


TOWN OF miDEE,li^lhi^ 

'797" '897- 




The Dkvden Herald Steam Printinc; House. 

dryden, new york. 



which appear liave been provided upon the request of the Committee 
by the persons represented, or their friends, and the portrait of no liv- 
ing resident of the township will be here found. Little attention lias 
been given in this work to the present, while the great effort has been 
to resurrect and preserve the past, representing so far as possible old 
land-marks and dwelling upon old habits and conditions as they for- 
merly existed. The table of contents and list of illustrations immedi- 
ately following will serve the purpose of a more complete index which 
it had been intended to supply at the end of the volume. Such a one 
had been partly prepared, but when the types were all up it was dis- 
covered that we had already occupied more than the space provided, 
and this feature was therefore reluctantly given up. 

While it would be inadvisable here to attempt to mention all who 
have lent a helping hand to the preparation of this work, the writer 
Avishes to acknowledge his special obligations to Chas. F. Mulks, of 
Ithaca, a descendant of the Ellis family, of Dryden, for his exhaustive 
and painstaking researches, of which this book has the benefit, and 
without which it Avould suffer, especially in the matter of statistics and 
genealogy, as well as in general accuracy. We are also under great 
obligations to Ex-Governor William Marvin, of Skaneateles, formerly 
a Dryden boy, now ninety years of age, who, with his own trembling 
hand, has, by letters and manuscripts, answered many inquiries and 
supplied much information not otherwise obtainable. 

To the members of the Committee, one and all, whose names are 
given upon the reverse of the title page, the public will be indebted 
for whatever shall be found worthy to be preserved in the future from 
this first attempt to accurately record and perpetuate at length the 
annals of the town of Drvden. G. E. G. 

254, after "Assum/s the god," /ear thetottom oftheWirread "AK'to nod.""''"''"' '^^^ "^"Irew.' 



Prehistoric Conditions, _ _ _ 

Indian Occupation, _ _ . - 

The Approach of Civilization, 

The First Settlement, - - - - 

The First Resident Freeholder, 

Other Settlements of 1798 and 1799, - 

Settlements from 1800 to 1803 Inclusive, - 

The Political Organization of the Town, 

Events from 1803 to 1812, - 

The War of 1812, . . . _ 

Events from 1812 to 1822, - 

Review of the Pioneer Period, 

The Period of Development — Transportation, 

Immigration and Emigration, - - - 

Occupation of the Inhabitants, 

Review of the Development Period, - 

The Civil War Period, 

The War of the Rebellion, 

Personal Record of Dr3^den Soldiers, 

Internal Improvements, . _ _ 

The Period of Maturity, _ - - 

Dryden Village in the Pioneer Period, 

Pioneer Families of Dryden Village, 

Dryden Village in the Development Period, - 

Dryden Village in the War Period, 

Dryden Village in the Maturity Period, 

Anecdotes of Dryden Village, 

Schools, Churches and Cemeteries of Dryden Village, 

The Southworth Library, - - - 

Willow Glen, - - - 

West Dryden, - - - - 

Varna and Fall Creek, - - - - 

Etna, - - . - _ 

Isaiah Giles and Gilesville, 

McLean and Malloryville, - 

Freeville, _____ 

The Octagonal School-House, 

Further Historv of the South-west Section, - 

























- 12 




- 11 




- 16 




- 18 




- 20 




- 22 




- 24 




- 26 




B, 28 




- 30 




- 32 




- 34 




- 36 




- 38 



Further History of the North-west Section, 

Further History of the North-east Section, 

Further History of the South-east Section, 

The Dryden Agricultural Society, 

The Ellis Family in Dryden, 

The Snyder Family in Dryden, 

The McGraw Family in Dryden, - 

The Benjamin Wood Family in Dryden, 

John Southworth, - - - . 

Milo Goodrich, 

Jeremiah Wilbur Dwight, - - - 

John C. Lacy, - - - - 

Andrew Albright, - - - - 

Other Dryden Men of Note, - 

The Dryden Centennial Celebration, 





- .0 




- 42 




- 44 




- 46 




■ 48 




■ 50 




■ 52 








Township Map, 


The Octagonal School-House, 

, 160 

Porket insiih fro)it 


Church at Snyder Hill, - 


John Ellis, " King of Dry 


Ellis Hollow Church, 

• 168 

den," - - Fro)iH 

'■s niece 

Main Building, Dryden Fail', 


Dryden Lake, 

- 3 

Scene at Dryden Fair, 

■ 189 

The New Log-Cabin, 


Major Peleg Ellis, 


Dryden Center House, 

- 41 

John McGraw, 


The Old Brick Store, 


John Southworth, 


Dryden Woolen Mill, 

- 95 

Milo Goodrich, (facing) 


Park and M. E. Church, - 


Jeremiah Wilbur Dwight, 

Main Street, Dryden, 

- 104 

(facing) - 


Map of Dryden Village, (fac 


John C. Lacy, (facing) 



- 104 

x\ndrew iVlbright, (facing) 


The Presbyterian Church, 


Smith Pvobertson, 


Jennie McGraw-Fiske, 

- 113 

William Marvin, - 


The Southworth Library, 


Richard Marvin, 


West Dryden M. E. Church, 

- 123 

Thomas J. McElheny, - 


Mrs. Alletta George, 


Orrin S. Wood, 


Map of Varna, 

- 130 

Otis E. Wood, - 


Varna, from E. K. Station, 


John Miller, - - - 


Main Street, Varna, - 

- 134 

Samuel D. Halliday, 


Map of Etna, 


George B. Davis, 


Etna, West Side, 

- 139 

John D. Benton, - 


Etna, East Side, - 


Dr. Francis J. Chenev, 


Samuel Mallory, 

- 150 

Warren W. Tyler, ^ - 


Freeville Grist-Mill, 


Inside the Log-Cabin, 


Shaver's Hotel, 

- 153 

Joseph E. Eggleston, 


Freeville Junction, 


" Everything Goes, " - 


Map of Freeville, (facing) 

- 156 

The George Junior Republic, 








The complete history of evei\y atom of matter extends back to its 
creation ; so the early history of the territory now known as the town 
of Dryden, is coeval with the formation of the present surface of the 
earth itself. While the scope of our work will be mainly confined 
to the century })erio(l immediately following the first settlement of the 
township by its present race of inhabitants, a brief reference to its 
earlier conditions will here be permitted, bringing it down to the time 
when our History properly begins. 

Our knowledge of the earth's early history must be principally de- 
rived from the science of geology, which teaches that this portion of 
the state of New York was once the bottom of an ancient ocean, of 
which the sea shells and fossil fishes, found in the stratified layers of 
our native rocks, and the extensive beds of salt which are now known 
to underlie the surface of certain sections, if not all of our county, 
seem to afford abundant proof. Scientific scholars tell us that the 
northern part of oui state first emerged from this prehistoric sea, 
which, gradually receding toward the south, left bare the native strati- 
fied rock formation of our locality in what the geologists term the 
Chemung period of the Devonian age. The}- teach us that subse- 
quently powerful forces, by means perhaps of icebergs and glacial ac- 
tion, brought here and scattered about boulders and gravel beds from 



older and more northern geological formations, at the same time plow- 
ing up and pulverizing into soil the native strata, and scooping out 
our valley's, in some places so deep as to form the beds of the numer- 
ous lakes which are a marked physical feature of Western New York. 
These lakes and valleys, with their intermediate ridges of hills and 
uplands, usually extend in a general north and south direction, the 
hills of our township var3'ing from 1500 to 1800 feet above the present 
sea level, while the beds of some of the neighboring lakes, Seneca for 
€xam]ile, lie below the surface of the ocean itself. Just how these re- 
sults were brought about must still be a matter for scientific study, but 
certain it is that this process of creation or development, whatever it 
may have been, resulted in leaving a rolling surface and a deep and 
fertile soil covering the beautiful hills and dales of our county of 

When first discovered by civilized man our town was a dense forest, 
mostly of hemlock and hard wood timber, liberally sprinkled with 
large trees of white ]nne, which in some places grew to be so thrifty 
and thick as to monopolize the soil and overshadow and crowd out the 
inferior growth. How many generations of these undisturbed forest 
trees grew and tlecayed before being seen by the first settler, must be 
a matter of pure speculation ; how this primeval forest appeared to 
the hardy pioneers who cleared it from the sites of our present homes, 
must be to us a subject for interesting reflections. 

The physical features of the country which have suffered the least 
change in their appearance during the century period of our history, are 
the larger streams, which " while man may come and man may go " 
still " flow on forever " from their fountains to the sea. When first 
discovered, Virgil, Fall and Cascadilla creeks, although unconscious 
of their present names, with more obstructed channels l)ut with larger 
volumes of water, drained the same valleys through which they still 
flow. They were then in their wild, untrained and unbroken state, un- 
saddled by bridges and unbridled by mill dams, but they took the 
same general courses which the}^ now pursue, and were the first land- 
marks in the boundless forest. The hills, too, although hidden from 
view by the foliage of the unbroken shade, must have presented the 
same general form as now. Our Dryden lake, since enlarged by arti- 
ficial means, still had an existence as a small bod}^ of water, wlien na- 
ture turned it over for the use of man. For unknown ages its tiny 
Avaves broke on the lonely shore, or, in more placid mood, its calm sur- 
face, all unseen, reflected the shadows of the virgin forest of pin<^ with 
which it was completely surrounded. 




Although there is iki record that the town of Drytlen was ever the 
site of any permanent Indian settlement, there is abundant evidence 
that the Indians occupied it as a hunting ground. The little Hint ar- 
rowheads which are still found, es])eci:dly along the banks of the 
streams and upon the shoi'es of the Lake, are unmistakable proof of 
the presence of the Indians, and the chips of Hint, the waste product 
of the rude manufacture of these arrowheads, and other im])lements 
of stone found frequently about the shores of the Lake, indicate that 
at some time the}^ had there at least a tem})orary encampment. The 
nearest Indian villages of which we have any authentic account were 
tlie habitations of the Cayugas, near the present site of the city of 
Ithaca, and extending on both sides of Cayuga Lake to its outlet. 
Central New York, when first known to civilization, was the home of 
the " Iroquois, " a term applied first to five and afterwards to six ccni- 
federated Indian tribes, which included the Cayugas, and is said to 
have constituted the most powerful force of Indians on the American 
Continent. We may perhaps claim some significance in the fact that 
the territory Avhich now constitutes the central and western part of 
the Empire State was once the home and hunting ground of the 
victorious Iroquois, the conquerers of all the neighboring tribes. It 
was said that such experiences had the New England tribes of Indians 
suffered from the Mohawks — the eastei-n branch of the Iroquois — that 
the very mention of the name of "a Mohawk" caused them to flee 
with terror. The Iroquois had recently conquered the Adirondacks 
on the north and the Eries and Hurons on the west, and after becom- 
ing known to wdiite men, in one of their southern excursions, they res- 
cued from their enemies the whole tribe of Tuscaroras of North Caro- 
lina, whom they brought home with them and adopted as the sixth 
branch of their nation. 

The conditions and habits of these al)origines form an interesting 
study to those wdio have investigated the subject. The first white 
men to go among them, except occasional fur traders, were the mis- 
sionaries of the French Jesnits, wdio for a century prior to the Eng- 
lish occupation of their territory, had lived and labored among them 
in the vain effort to effect their conversion to their form of Christianity. 
These, like other American Indians, from the first seemed to take much 
more naturally to the vices than to the virtues of their white brothers 


find the sacrifices of those zealous men, wlio left their pleasant homes 
in France to live and work among tiie Indians of North America for 
their education and development in the Christian faith, were worthy 
of better success than resulted. But the reports which these French 
Catholic priests sent back to their native country of their experiences 
among them are now found carefully preserved in French monasteries, 
and constitute one of the most interesting and trustworthy sources of 
our knowledge of the actual condition in which the Indians were tJien 
found. The " relations " (as they are called) of one Father Carheil, 
who spent over twenty years of his life anjong the Ca3'Ugas, and wdio 
in the year 1672 describes Lake Tiohero (now Cayuga) and the beauti- 
ful country surrounding it, with its abundance of fish and game, have 
thus recently been resurrected and translated into English, throwing 
much light upon this subject so interesting to the antiquarian. 

In the French and Indian wars, which preceded the Revolution, 
the Iroquois, in spite of the French priests, took sides with the Eng- 
lish, and rendered eflicient assistance in the conquest of Canada from 
the French. When the War of the Revolution followed between the 
English colonies and their mother country, the Iroquois at first de- 
cided to remain neutral, but the most of them were afterwards per- 
suaded to join their old allies, the English. This exposed the out- 
posts of the colonies to a merciless enemy in the rear, and the fright- 
ful massacres of Cherry Valley and Wyoming were among the results. 
Fortunate it was for the early settlers of our locality that these bloody 
times passed before they ventured into the Western Wilderness. 

To avenge these outrages and to punish the hostile Indians and 
drive them from the neighborhood of the advance settlements, an in- 
vasion of the Iroquois country was executed in the year 1779, known 
as " Sullivan's campaign, " which, after a b;ittle with the combined 
forces of Indians and Tories near Newtown (now Elmira), resulted in 
their complete defeat, followed by the subsequent overrunning of the 
Indian country and the destruction of their villages, including those 
along Cayuga and Seneca lakes. This campaign, forming a part of 
the Ilevolutionar}^ war, planned by Washington and executed by Gen- 
erals Sullivan and Clinton with a force of about five thousand men, 
detachments of which marched within a few miles of the town of Dry- 
den, and perhaps within its borders, resulted in the complete humili- 
ation of the fierce Iroquois, and opened the way for the subsequent 
purchase and settlement of this section of Western New York, over 
which up to that time they had held absolute sway. With the excep- 
tion of the Oneidas, who had remained friendly to the colonies, and 


a part of the OnoiKlagas, whose descendants still remain on their res- 
ervation near Syracuse, the Iroquois were driven from this part of the 
state never to return in large numbers. Some took refuge in Canada 
and along the Niagara frontier, others, including a number from the 
Cayuga and Seneca tribes, were colonized in the extreme western 
part of this state, while most of the Cayugas were induced to make 
their homes in the Indian Territory, where their descendants now re- 
side in considerable numbers. Thus it happened that the early pio- 
neers of our town escaped all annoyance from hostile Indians, who had 
been effectually driven out of the country before any settlement was 

Those readers who desire to follow more minutely the details of 
" Sullivan's Campaign " will find the journals of the officers of that 
ex})edition, with full ex]:)lanatory notes and maps, given in a large vol- 
ume recently published by the State, a copy of which can be found in 
the Dryden village school library. 



The War of the Revolution was practically ended in 1781, two years 
after Sullivan's Campaign was carried out against the Indians of West- 
ern NeAv York. Within the next ten years the remnants of the Iro- 
quois confederacy ceded their lands, by various treaties, to the State. 
Conditions favorable to the settlement of this locality were thus rapid- 
ly developed. Other sections of the countr}^ both north and south of 
us, more readily reached by means of navigable lakes and rivers, were 
already occupied by the pioneer settlers, while the ridge separating 
the head waters of the St. Lawrence from those of the Susquehanna, 
of which our town forms a part, was still uninhabited. In February, 
1789, the N. Y. State Legislature passed a law for surveying and set- 
ting apart for the use of its soldiers of the Revolution who then sur- 
vived, a large section of land between Seneca and Oneida lakes after- 
wards known as the " Militar}^ Tract," comprising nearly two million 
acres, and including the town of Dryden, which was designated in the 
survey as Township No. 23. This tract was surveyed in the years 1789 
and 1790, and divided into twenty-six townships, to which two more 
were afterwards added, making twenty-eight in all, each being about 
ten miles square and containing one hundred lots of about one mile 
square each, Dryden is one of the few to retain nearly its original di- 


mensions. The little iK)tcli wliicli formerly existed in tlie southeast 
corner of the town before the seven lots were set oft' to Caroline, was 
caused by the overlapping of the territorj' known as the Massachusetts 
Ten Townships upon the Military Tract, the West Owego Creek, which 
rises in Dryden near the southwest corner, being the west boundary 
of the former. The lots of Dryden were surveyed in the year 1790, b}' 
John Konkle, of Schoharie. In the southeast corner of each lot was 
set apart one hundred acres, known and frequently referred to in old 
descriptions, which are brought down into deeds of even this date, as 
the " State's Hundred Acres, " which the owner had the option of 
exchanging for an equal number of acres of the U. S. lands in Ohio ; 
and out of each lot was reserved a piece of fifty acres, known as the 
" Survey Fifty Acres, " which was retained by the surveyor for his ser- 
vices, unless redeemed by the owner at eight dollars. So poor were 
the earlv inhabitants in those da^^s, and so scarce was money, that 
many of them were unable to raise the eight dollars necessary to save 
the Survey Fifty Acres of their lots even on these terms. 

Out of each township one lot was reserved for gospel and school 
purposes and another for promoting literature, the gospel and school 
lot in Dryden being No. 29 and the literature lot No. 63. The other 
lots were drawn by ballot in the year 1791 by the New York soldiers 
of the Revolution, each private and non-cc^mmissioned officer being en- 
titled to draw one lot. A copy of the " Balloting Book " containing 
the names of the soldiers of the Revolution by whom the lots of the 
t(nvn of Dryden were originally drawn, can now be found in the Tomp- 
kins county clerk's office. This method of distribution of the land of 
the township l)y ballot, accounts for the fact that the early settlers of 
the town did not come in large colonies from any particular part of 
the older settlements, but came singly or in small groups from locali- 
ties widely separated. 

Prior to this time all of the western part of the state was embraced 
in the old county of Montgomery, but in the j'ear 1791 Herkimer and 
Tioga counties, the latter including Dryden, were set off fronj Mont- 
gomery and in 1794 Onondaga county, then made to include all of the 
Military Tract, was formed and set off' from Tioga and Herkimer. 
Thus our Township No. 23 was, from 1791 to 1794, a, part of Tioga 
county, l)econiing in 1794 a ]iart of Onondaga county, and so remained 
until it was appropriated to form a part of the new count}^ of Cayuga 
in 1799, and was afterwards set off to form a part of the present coun- 
ty of Tompkins u})on its organization in the year 1817. 

It is thus seen how it happens that all of the records of land titles 


of the town of Dryden, prior to 1817 and subsequent to 1799, are found 
in the clerk's office of the county of Caynga, the records of our own 
county comniencing- with its formation in the year 1817. Township 
No. 23, while in Montgomery county, was included io the political sub- 
diyision of Whitestown ; upon its incorporation into Tiogji county in 
1791 it became a ]iart of the old town of Owego ; l)ut when it 
was absorbed by Onondaga county it was at first included, in its po- 
litical existence, with the present townships of Enfield and Itha- 
ca in the original town of Ulysses, the organization of which dates 
back to the formation of Onondaga county in 1794. On Feb. 22, 
1803, Township No. 23 was set off by itself, having been previoush' 
named Dryden by the commissioners of the land office, in honor 
of John Dryden, the English poet. 'Jdie townships of Ithaca and 
Enfield remained a part of Ulysses, in their political organization, 
until four years later. 

But few of the soldiers of the Revolution came and settled upon the 
lots which fell to them. The old veterans of those days, like some of 
later times, cared more for their present comfort than for an oppor- 
tunity of finding new homes in the wilderness of the Military Tract. 
Nor can the old Revolutionary soldiers, after having passed through 
the hardships involved in the seven years' Avar with England, be 
blamed for shrinking from the privation and suffering incident to pio- 
neer life in a new country. Many of them disposed of their titles for a 
mere trifle. For instance it is said that the original owner of the lot 
of 640 acres upon which the Dryden Center House now stands, sold it 
for a coat, hat, one drink of rum, and one dollar in money, and that 
the soldier who drew Lot No. 9 sold it for one "great coat. " "Land 
sharks" existed e^■en in those days and manv^ of the soldiers' claims 
to the territory of Dryden were bought up for a trifling consideration 
by speculators in the East, who held them for advanced ]-)rices, at 
which the}' were sold to those who became actual settlers. 

So great a length of time elapsed between the drawing of the lots 
and the actual occupation of them, and so many loose and fraudu- 
lent transfers were made of them in the meantime, that the uncertain- 
ty of titles resulting was one of the troubles which vexed and disap- 
pointed the early settlers, much more than we of the present day can 
realize. Some, however, of the original owners retained their lots and 
occupied the lands which the government had given them as a bounty 
for their services. As an example, Elias Larabee, who drew Lot No. 
49, including tlie southeast quarter of Dryden village, came and lived 
for a long time upon his lot, and one of his descendants, Daniel Law- 


sou, a peosioner of the War of the Rebellion, still owns aud occupies a 
small part of it. 

The town liavino- been surveyed in 1790 and the lots being drawn in 
1791, the next question was how were these jx^ssessions in the wilder- 
ness of the Military Tract to be reached. The first settlers had al- 
ready arrived at Owego and Elmira by way of the Susquehanna and 
Chemung rivers, while others had come to Syracuse and Auburn b}' 
way of the Mohawk and Seneca rivers and the lakes, and settlements 
had been commenced in and about Ithaca and Lansing, on the banks 
of Cayuga Lake, by parties who had taken these routes, but there was 
uo direct practicable way to reach from the cast the elevated water- 
shed lying between the two, until a road was cut through the woods 
from Oxford on the Chenango River to Ithaca at the head of Cayuga 
Lake, which was done in the years 1793, 179-1 and 1795, by Joseph 
Chaplin under a contract from the State. Mr. Chaplin was the first 
settler in the town of Virgil and we quote from Bouton's History of 
that town, pages 9 and 10, concerning him and his work as fol- 
lows : 

"To facilitate the settlement of this section of the country, a 
road was projected connecting Oxford with the Cayuga Lake, to pass 
through this town [Virgil.] Joseph Chaplin, the first inhabitant, was 
intrusted with this work. The instrument by which he was author- 
ized to engage in it was authenticated on the fifth of May, 1792. He 
spent that season in exploring and surveying the route, the length of 
which is about sixty miles. He came to Lot No. 50 [of Virgil], which 
he owned and afterwards settled, erected a house and prosecuted his 
work, having a woman to keep the house and cook for workmen. The 
work of cutting and clearing the road was done in 179o-4 ; so that he 
moved his family from Oxford over it in the winter of 1794-5, employ- 
ing six or seven sleighs freighted with family, furniture, provisions, etc." 

But it seems that when he had completed the road as far as Virgil 
he was persuaded by some settlers from Kidder's Ferry (near Ludlow- 
ville) to continue the road from Virgil through to that point, as it then 
contained more inhabitants than Ithaca. Having done so he present- 
ed his lull to the Legislature, Avhich rejected it on the ground that he 
had not complied with the terms of his contract, which required the 
road to be built to Ithaca. He then returned and in the year 1795 cut 
the road through from Virgil to Ithaca known as the "Bridle Road," 
and thus became entitled to his pa^', the first road opened by him 
being now known as the old State Road, extending between the towns 
of Dryden and Groton and through Lansing to the Lake. 


The foregoing is tlie version of tliis matter wliich has appeared in 
the local histoi'ies previously published, but it is now claimed, with 
better reason as it seems to us and more consistently with the con- 
ditions which are known to have then existed, that the Bridle Road 
was the trial route lirst partly opened by Cha|)lin, and which the state 
government refused to accept because it did not terminate as required 
by the contract at a point on Cayuga Lake, the early Ithaca settle- 
ment being at least a mile from its nearest shore ; and that he then 
fuliilled the letter of his contract by afterwards opening the old State 
Road to Kidder's Ferry, leaving the lirst route only a bridle path 
which Capt. Robertson, as we shall see hereafter, was obliged to widen 
in order to reach with ox teams by way of Ithaca his site on Lot 53 of 

We are told that in this work of cutting these new roads tlirough 
the wilderness, Mr. Chaplin was assisted by his step-sou, then a 
young man, Gideon Messenger b}^ name, who is the ancestor of the 
present Messenger family of Dryden and the uncle of H. J. Mes- 
senger, of Cortland. From Bouton's History we learn that tins same 
Gideon Messenger was the first town clerk of Yirgil in 1795, after- 
wards its supervisor, and that he passed over the State Road from 
State Bridge, in the eastern part of Yirgil, to Cayuga Lake, before 
there was a single habitation in the whole distance. (Bouton's Sup- 
plement, page 39.) 



It seems to be conceded that the first actual settler in the town of 
Dryden was Amos Sweet. Our information upon this subject is de- 
rived almost entirely from the " Old Man in the Clouds, " the fictitious 
name of the author of a series of articles published in " Rumsey's 
Companion, " the first newspaper published at Dr3^den, in the years 
1856 and 1857, and which were, in fact, compiled by the editor from 
the information afibrded by old men, then living, but since dead, and 
in that way preserved. We quote from the first number as follows : 

" It was in the spring of 1797, that a man by the name of Amos Sweet 
c me from the East somewhere, and, after ascertaining the location of 
his lot, put up a log house about ten feet square, just back of where 
now resides Freeman Stebbins [now John Munsey] in this village, 
where himself, his wife, two children, his mother and brother all lived. 


This would seem to be m very small and rude habitation to the people 
of our present gay and beautiful village. It was built of logs about a 
foot thick ; these were halved together at the ends and the cracks 
chinked in with split sticks and mud. The house was eight logs high, 
covered with bark from the elm and basswood. Through one corner 
an opening was left for the smoke to pass through, there being no 
chimney or chamber Hoor. The lire-place was composed of three 
hardhead stones turned up against the logs for the back, and three or 
four others of the same stamp formed the hearth, these being laid 
upon the split logs which formed the floor. Inasmuch as there was 
no sash or glass in those days in this vicinity, their only window con- 
sisted of an opening about eighteen inches square cut through the 
logs, and this, to keep out the inclement weather, was covered with 
brown paper, greased over to admit the light. The door was also in 
keeping with the rest of the house, being composed of slabs split from 
the pine and hewn off as smooth as might be with the common axe. 
The hinges were of wood and fastened across the door with pins of the 
same material, serving the double purpose of cleet and hinge. In this 
house, thus built without nails and with benches fastened to the sides 
of the house for chairs, eating from wooden trenchers and slab tables 
much after the fashion of the door, did this little family of pioneers 
live. " 

But the title to the lot upon which Mr. Sweet built seems to 
have been defective and one Nathaniel Shelden appears to have had 
the real ownership, for in 1801, he compelled Mr. Sweet and his family 
to leave it. Elsewhere Mr. Sweet is spoken of as a " squatter, " or one 
having no title, and Mr. Shelden is represented as using "fraudulent 
means" to dispossess him, but charit}' for both of these early pioneers 
compels us to believe that the difficulty grew out of the great uncer- 
taint}' and confusion which then existed as to the titles derived from 
the old soldiers of the Revolution, some oi whom had undertaken to 
sell the same lands se\'eral times over to different parties. At any 
rate Sweet was compelled to leave his pioneer home in 1801, and soon 
after, as the account says, "he sickened and died, and his remains, 
together with those of his mother and two children, " were buried 
directly across the road from the Dryden Springs Sanitarium. The 
house remained for some time after, for we are told that it was used as 
the first school house for the children of the early settlers in the 
year 1804. 

The new log cabin constructed during the summer of 1897 on the 
grounds of the Dryden Agricultural Society was built of green 


chestnut logs and modeled after this tirst pioneer honse in Drvden. 
It is intended to be preserved and it is hoped it will long remain as 
a relic of that kind of architecture, once so prevalent here, where now 
onh^ the decay ing remains of two or three log houses can be found 
in the whole township. 


The fact that we now find no signs of the graves Avhere Mr. Sweet 
and his family are said to have been buried, strikes us at first as 
singular, but a little reflection and an examination of the customs of 
the early settlers in that regard, su]^plies us with the explanation. 
The pioneers had too much to do to spend much time or efi'ort in the 
burial of their dead and were too poor to go to much expense in such 
matters. Mr. Bouton, in his History of Virgil, says that the first grave- 
stone in that town was erected in 1823, although deaths had occurred 
there from its earliest settlement. He also explains their method of 
selecting places for the burial of their dead, which seems to us 
strange. We quote from pages 13 and 11 of the Supplement, where 
he speaks of a stranger who lost his way and perished in l^the woods, 
and mentions that he was buried near where he was found. 


"Only ;i few families ;it tin; time (1798) resided in the towu, wliic-li 
exteiuUnl over ten miles of tenitory. There was no pnblic l)uryin^- 
ground and it was not possible to know where it would be located. ■'" 
^^ ■• Families buried their dead on their own ])remises, and others, 
strangers and transient persons, were permitted to be laid in these 
family grounds. Ultimately it came to pass that one or more of 
these grounds came to V)e considered piJilic, in a subordinate sense. 
There were a large number of them which continued in use after the 
public ground was o})ened." 

Grave-stones as seen in old cemeteries, where any existed at all, were 
then of the simplest character, many being made of nati\e tlag-stones, 
and the coffin of the pioneer was a coarse wooden box manufactured 
by the local undertaker, tifteen dollars paying for the very best. 

When we come to think of it, a cemetery would not be much of an 
institution in an earh' settlement in the woods, especially where the 
living inhabitants had all they could do to keep soul and body to- 
gether. Far ditferent is it in a communit3' of a century's growth, 
where now our cemetery tombstones, many of them imported from 
Italy and Scotland, represent the expenditure of very many thousands 
of dollars, and the earth beneath them already envelops the forms of 
the ever-increasing, yet silent, majority. 



While Amos Sweet was the tirst man to take up his residence in 
Dryden, he seems never to have held permanent title to any of its real 
estate, ;rnd, so far as we can learn, he left no relatives or descendants 
from whom any of the present inhabitants can trace their ancestry. 
We know not wdience he came, except from the " Old Man in the 
Clouds," who says that he came from "the East somewhere," and our 
short story of his appearance and residence here is an unsatisfactory 
and a tragic one. We have already given all the facts which we can 
learn of him except the statement derived from an old obituary notice 
of Seth Stevens, a relative of the early Eummer family in Dryden, 
which relates that Stevens, while probably residing in Virgil, helped 
to build the first log house in Dryden, presumably the Amos Sweet 
house. We have accidentally come across his signature as a witness 
to an old Dryden deed, which shows that he could write, an accom- 
plishment at that time none too common. 


The next settlement in the township was made by a man whose life 
had a permanent intlnence upon the town, and who well-earned the 
title which was afterward i;iven him of bein^- the "Father of the Town," 
having been its first resident freeholder and afterward its tirst super- 

In the year 1797 there lived near Sehuvlerville, Saratoga county, 
N. Y., George Robertson, a T(n-ing carpenter and millwright, who by 
piatieut industr}^ had acquired a home and a little pro])erty, but whose 
ambition prompted him to become a pioneer in the undeveloped wil- 
derness of the Military Tract. His father, Robert Robertson, who 
had recently died, had in 1769 emigrated with his family, consisting 
of his wife, Josephine, and two small children, young George and his 
older sister, Nancy (McCutcheon), from near Glasgow, Scotland, 
to Saratoga county, where, upon the breaking out of the Revolu- 
tion, the father enlisted and gallantly served throughout the struggle 
for independence. The old flint-lock musket which he carried in the 
army of Washington under the command of General Philip Schuyler, 
by and after whom one of his sons was named, is still kept as a treas- 
ure in the family and was on exhibition at Drjden's Centennial Cele- 

Young George Robertson, in 1797, had an opportunity of purchasing 
Lot No. 53, of Drj'deu, from a neighbor, Benoni Ballard, the soldier 
to whom it was allotted, and in the autumn of that year he made a 
prospecting tour on foot from Saratoga county to Dryden, reaching 
Lot 53 by way of the Mohawk Valley, Auburn, Cayuga Lake and Itha- 
ca, returning b}' way of the Bridle Road through the present site of 
Dryden village, to Oxford, and thence by way of Utica to his home. 
Upon this preliminary visit the only habitation which he found in 
Dryden was that of Amos Sweet, described in the last chapter, where, 
as he related, there was a clearing of abcnit half an acre which he 
called a " turnip patch. " 

Being pleased with the new country and possessed of a courage 
which, we fear, would be lacking in these days of luxury and refine- 
ment, Robertson sold his home and with the proceeds completed the 
purchase of Lot No. 53 for eight hundred and fifty dollars. He left 
his wife and two children for the time being and set out in February, 
1798, with a sleigh loaded with such implements and provisions as 
could be carried, drawn by two yoke of oxen, for the long journey. 
He was accompanied by at least two young men, including his younger 
brother, Philip S. Robertson, and Jared Benjamin. 

Of Philip S. Robertson we shall have occasion to say more here- 


iifter as being one of the pioneers of tlie northwest section of the town, 
but of Jared Benjamin we sliall say here, lest it be omitted hereafter, 
tliat he was then a lad sixteen years of asje who had been apprenticed 
to George Robertson to learn the carpenter's trade and who was in- 
duced to accompany him into the wilderness by the promise of eighty 
acres of land, and who, during the journey and for the first year of the 
settlement, served as the housekeeper and cook of the party. He af- 
terwards served as a soldier from Tompkins county in the War of 
1812, after which he journeyed and settled further west, but his son, 
Cliarles Benjamin, returned to Dryden and at one time occupied and 
enlarged the Dryden village tanner}^ and afterwards built a tannery 
at Harford, one of the old buildings still standing there unoccupied 
neai- the railroad station ; and his son is Chas. M. Benjamin, now one of 
the proprietors of the Ithaca Journal. Another of the descendants 
of this pioneer lad, Jared Benjamin, is Mrs. D. B. Card, of Dryden. 

To return to our narrative, it is claimed by some that Walter Yeo- 
mans, and by others that Moses Snyder also accompanied George 
Eobertson on this pioneer journey, but neither are mentioned in the 
first account, published forty years ago when the facts were more at- 
tainable, and either may have come a year or two later, although it is 
certain that both were early pioneers of Dryden from Saratoga county. 

The pioneer party were three weeks on the journey, coming by way 
of the Mohawk Valley, Utica, Hardenburg's Corners (now Auburn), 
reaching Ithaca (then called " Markle's Flats,") Avhere there were then 
three log houses, March 1, 1798. It took the whole of the next day to 
widen the Bridle Road through from Ithaca to Lot 58, upon which 
Mott J. Robertson, the youngest son of Captain George Robertson, 
now resides, so as to admit of the progress of the team and liaggage. 
The}- arrived towards evening on March 2nd and made hasty prep- 
arations to spend their first night on the site of their new home. In 
later years Captain Robertson pointed out to his sous the very spot, 
now located between the highway and railroad track near the west 
line of Lot 53, where, on that March ev-ening, on split basswood logs, 
they ate their first meal and stretched themselves out to spend the 
night, having provided the oxen with the tops of the basswood trees 
for a supper of browse. A fall of two inches of snow during the night 
caused Philip S. to get up and stretch over them a blanket on stakes, 
to protect them from the storm. The next morning the men set to 
work to build a log house and make a clearing so as to secure a crop 
of grain that season. The trees were chopped down, girdled and 
burned, the seed was dragged in with the aid of a tree top as a har- 


row, and the rich, ineUow, new ojround viekled alMindant harvests in 
that and the succeeding years. Thus the energy and prudence of 
young George Robertson enabled him to harvest the first considerable 
crops in the town, and when the subsequent settlers came to him to 
obtain seed grain, it is said that he supplied those who had no present 
means of paying for it, but refused those who had money which would 
enable them to get it elsewhere, lest he should not have enough to 
su})})ly all of his poorer neighbors. Whether such a policy of su|)ply- 
ing only those who had no money could be successfully carried out in 
these times, ma}' be seriouslv questioned, but it served to exhibit the 
unselfish character of Capt. R()l)ertson and entitled him to tiie grati- 
tude of his fellow })ioneers, ;is well as to tliat of their posterity. His 
wife and children came on, the next season (1799), m care of her broth- 
er, Wm. Smith, of Saratoga, who, after viewing the uninviting pros- 
pect of the single log house, surrounded for a short distance with the 
clearing full of charred stumps and then by the dense wilderness, 
advised his sister to return with him to bis home in Saratoga, Init she 
bravely resolved with her husband to share the hardships and reap 
the rewards afforded to pioneers in a new country. Their son, Rol)ert 
R., whose birthday was x'Vpril 7, 1800, was for a long time sup[)osed to 
have been the first white child born in the tcjwn of Dryden, but we 
now learn upon reliable authority that Melinda>, the daughter of David 
Foote and the mother of Mrs. Darius Givens, now residing in Dryden 
village, was born at Willow Glen, on February 21, 1800, and was 
therefore the first native-born child, while Robert R. was the first 
native-born male citizen of the town. 

The heroic and unselfish conduct of Captain Robertson, and his in- 
dustrious and prudent life, together with abilities of no common or- 
der, gave him prominence in our early history and when the town 
came to be organized as a separate political township in 1803. Ik- was 
made its first supervisor. Although not the first settler, lie was tlie 
first resident freeholder of the town, raised the first crop of any ac- 
count, and, his house being a hospitable refuge for the early settlers 
perhaps less provident than he had been, he is credited with being 
the first innkeeper of the town in 1801. These facts well entitled him 
to be regarded, as he was by the early settlers, the " Father of the 
Town of Drv'den." He was afterward a captain of the State militia 
and the field opposite the present residence of his son, Mott J. Rob- 
ertson, upon which this log house was built in 1798, Avas the training 
ground for the early yeomanry of Dryden, who were here required to 
be annually drilled in military tactics. Captain Robertson died April 

SETTLEMENTS OF 171)8 AND 1799. 17 

4, IS-i-l, havino- v;iised a family oi thirteen ehilclreu, many of whom 
litve lield ])ositioi)s of honor and trust in this and other states, at 
least two of his sons having; served as sherili's of the county of Tomp- 
kins. His oMest child, Nancy, married Thomas Bishop and she and 
her oldest brother, Thomas, lived and died in the town of Lansing. 
Hobert died in Chautauqua county, N. Y. Phoebe became the wife of 
Peter V. Snydei-, and Gorilla the wife of "Wm. Biown, who, with her 
brothers, John, Theodore, Cyrus and Hiram D., made their home in 
Albion, Mich. Pauline became the wife of Benjamin F. King, at Par- 
ma, Mich., and Philip died in Crawford county. Pa. Smith, of whom 
we sliall say more hereafter, resides at Eau Chiire, Wis., and Mott J., 
the only son now residing here, is one of the present Centennial Com- 
mittee of the town of Drydeu. 



In the fall of 1798, three families settled at Willow Glen. They con- 
sisted of Ezekiel Sanford, his wife and one son, David Foote, his wife 
and four daughters, and Ebenezer Clauson, his wife, one son and two 
daughters, making m all a party of fourteen persons, who came to 
Dryden over the new State Road, from the Chenango river, with a sin- 
gle team of oxen drawing a heavy ox sled of the olden times, which was 
made with wooden shoes ami a heavy split pole. This conveyance 
carried all of the household furniture of the three families, which we in- 
fer from that fact could not then have been very rich in housekeeping- 
materials. Sanford located ojiposite the residence of the late Elias 
W. Cady, Clauson on the premises now owned and occupied by Moses 
liowland. while Foote built his log hut between the two. They are 
said to have passed a very " comfortable winter, " subsisting largely 
upon the abundant game found in the new country, the oxen being 
supplied with plenty of browse from the trees. That they were able 
to live through the winter at all in this way is a mystery to us of the 
present age, who are supplied with so many of the comforts and lux- 
uries of life. It seemed to the writer at first impossible that cattle 
could be wintered on "browse" without hay or grain, but he is as- 
sured by old men that such is not the case, and that it was not un- 
common in old times when fodder was scarce to fell trees in the woods, 
especially maple and basswood, so that cattle could have access to 
the tops for their subsistence. We are also reminded that wild deer 


wintered in the woods in this locality, when tne snow was deep, with- 
out this assistance of the woodman. These new settlers did survive 
aud seem to have prospered in their new homes, and as proof of these 
facts we know that our present popular highway commissioner, San- 
ford E. Smiley, is one of a large number of direct descendants of that 
same pioneer, Ezekiel Sanford, one of the party who wintered tljeir 
oxen on browse and themselves on the " abundant game found in the 
new country " in the winter of the year 1798-9. Like Amos Sweet, 
who had })receded them one year, they seem to have had, when they 
came, no permanent title to the land upon which they located, hut 
came empty handed to grow up with the new country as thev did, 
having become the ancestors of many of its now prosperous inhabit- 

The writer was at first unable to learn whether auy of these three 
pioneers except Sanford left descendants now residing iu the town- 
ship, and was surprised to learn that both Mrs. Darius Givens and 
Mrs. Robert Sager are grandchildren of that same David Foote. Clau- 
son, with all his family, is believed to have moved further west, one of 
his daughters having married a brother of Wyatt Allen, formerly of 
Dry den. 

Others who settled in 1798, coming here from Lansing, where they 
had sojourned a short time, were Daniel White and his brother-in-law, 
Samuel Knapp, a soldier of the Revolution, who was engaged in the 
battles of Trenton, Princeton, Stony Point, Brandywine and Mon- 
mouth. Knapp took up his location on Lot No. 14, where he raised 
a large family and died July 1, 1847, aged 91 years. His remains are 
buried in the Peruville cenieter3\ Mr. White gave his attention to the 
construction of the first grist-mill of the town, which stood about forty 
rods west of the present grist-mill in Freeville, just north-west of 
where the highway now crosses Fall Creek. He procured a stone 
which he found on the Thompson (now Skillings) farm, split it and 
himself dressed out and took to the mill the first millstones, which 
answered the purpose and were in constant use until the mill was re- 
constructed in 1818. His mill w^as completed in 1802, prior to which 
time the pioneer was obliged to take his grist to Ludlow's Mill 
(now Ludlowvillej to be ground, or pound it into meal in the hollow 
of a large stump, as was sometimes done by hand. During the past 
summer parts of this boulder out of which Mr. White worked these 
first millstones, were brought to the grounds of the Dryden Agricul- 
tural Societ}' by Samuel Skillings, a descendant of Samuel Knapp, aud 
left near the new log cabin, where they wall remain as a relic and re- 

SETTLEMENTS OF 1798 AND 1799. 19 

minder of the use which Mr. White made iu 1802 of a part of this 
rock. Besides being a practical miller, Mr. White was an ordained 
deacon of the M. E. church and preached on the Cayuga circuit iu 
1802, and for several years afterwards. He came to Lansing from 
Pennsylvania, but was originally from Roxbury, Mass., and died at the 
age of seventy-eight, leaving a family of fourteen children, of whom 
the only present survivors are Daniel M. White, of Dryden, secretary 
of the present Centennial Committe*^, Mrs. Anna Montfort, of Peru- 
ville, and Mrs. George F. A. Baker, of West Dryden. Many of his 
grandchildren and great-grandchildren are now living. 

Aaron Lacy, father of the late John R. Lacy, came from New Jersey 
and settled at Willow Glen early in the year 1799, on tlie corner since 
occupied by the Stickles family. 

Zephaniah Brown came from Saratoga and settled on Lot 71, ad- 
joining the town of Ithaca, in the year 1799, cutting the first road from 
that portion of the town to Ithaca, which was extended two years later 
by Peleg Ellis to the Ellis Hollow neighborhood. Brown seems to 
have been the first pioneer in that part of the town and resided for a 
number of years on the farm since occupied by Chauncey L. Scott. 
But in about 1830 he and his family moved to Michigan, leaving, so 
far as we can learn, no descendants in the town. 

Tradition has handed down to us an incident worthy of being here 
preserved of the first visit between the two pioneer families of Peleg 
Ellis and Zephaniah Brown, after a patli had been made connecting 
their respective clearings in the forest. Mrs. Ellis came to make her 
call upon her new neighbor on horseback, one of her little girls sitting 
in front of her and the other behind. As they emerged from the 
woods into the clearing Mrs. Brown saw them and anxiously called 
out to her husband in a voice loud enough to be heard by Mrs. Ellis : 
" Zephaniah ! Zephaniah ! Mrs. Ellis is coming. What shall we have 
for tea?" To which her husband replied in a voice still heard by the 
visitor : " Make a shortcake ! Make a shortcake and put the cream in 
tliick ; put it in thick, I say." 

Society did not then require of Dryden neighbors the formalities, 
and shall we say hypocrisy, now in vogue ; but who can say that there 
did not then exist among these pioneers dressed in homespun clothing 
and living in their log houses in the clearings, more genuine, heartfelt 
hospitality than exists to-day among their more polished descendants 
in their expensive mansions, furnished with all that modern luxury 
and elegance can suggest ? 




In the year 1800 Lyman Hurd came in from Vermont and settled 
with his wife and chiklren at Willow Glen, on the corner opposite the 
blacksmith shop, now vacant. His house which he built there was 
then the best in town because it had a i-hininey, the others having 
merely a hole in the roof for the smoke to pass out. This chimney 
was not made of bricks and mortar, but of sticks and mud, built up 
from the beam over the fire-place in cob-house fashion, such as was 
known in those days as a "stick chimney," the best that could be made 
with the material at hand. Mr. Hurd brought with him a pair of 
horses, the first seen in the new settlement, but unfortunately one of 
them died during the first Avinter, not being able perhaps to subsist 
upon "browse," which, as we have seen, was about all the food for 
domestic animals which the town then afibrded. In this dilemma Mr. 
Hurd and his hired man went oft' through the woods to Tully and 
there procured an ox, which they brought home and harnessed in with 
the surviving horse by means of what was called a half yoke, and the 
"Old Man in the Clouds" certifies to us that for all purposes, "such as 
plowing, logging, going to mill and to meeting, this team worked to- 
together admirably." 

Other settlers of the same year were Nathaniel Sheldon, the 
first physician to reside in the town, and Ruloti' Whitney, who built 
the first sawmill of the town, which was located on Virgil rreek, on the 
road leading north from Willow Glen, which was opened at this time 
by the authorities of the town (still Ulysses) to connect at this point 
the "Bridle" road with the old "State" road. This mill was located 
tipon what has since been known as the Joseph McGraw farm, and 
furnished the first lumber for the new settlement. Ruloft' Whitney 
was also the first bridegroom of the town, having wooed and won one 
of Virgil's fair daughters. Miss Susan Glenin% whom he married in 
this, the first year of the nineteenth century, or perhaps more accu- 
rately speaking the last of the eighteenth. From this time on settlers 
were numerous and will be noticed further on when we come to treat 
of the separate localities of the town with which they are associated, 
mentioning here in detail only those who, to some extent, are promi- 
nently connected with the history of the town, as a whole. 

Among these were the two brothers John and Peleg Ellis, who came 
originally from W^est Greenwich, Rhode Island, and first settled in 

SETTLEMENTS OF 1800 1803. 21 

Herkimer count}' of this state, from which John came to Virgil in 
1798, having purchased of the Samuel Cook estate Lot No. 23 of that 
town, upon which he remained about three years. In the meantime 
his brother Peleg, having exchanged with this same Cook family his 
lionje in Herkimer county for Lot No. 84 of Dr3-den, in the localit}' 
since known as Ellis Hollow, first came out to view his new posses- 
sions in the fall of 1799. He had difficulty at first to locate his newl}^ 
acquired property in the universal forest, until meeting with Captain 
Robertson, he received such directions as enabled him to find it, by 
means of a map and the marked trees which, when properly under- 
stood, indicated the boundaries of the recently surveyed lots. Having 
found his property he immediately commenced chopping for a clear- 
ing, and he is said to have passed eleven da3's alone at work without 
once seeing a human being. On the eleventh day Zephaniah Brown, 
who, as we have seen, had already settled on Lot 71, hearing the sound 
of the axe came up with his gun in hand to make his first call upon 
his new neighbor. 

Returning home to spend the winter, Mr. Ellis came on, the next 
summer, with his family, then consisting of his wife and two daugh- 
ters, and built on the headwaters of Cascadilla Creek, which flowed 
tluoiigh his lot, his first home of logs, in which he lived for eight 
years. Here, on January 30, 1801, was born Delilah (Mulks), the 
oldest of the family of Major Ellis to be born in Dryden, the two 
eldest daughters having come here with their parents. We shall 
have occasion to refer to Major Ellis hereafter as the captain of 
the first company of Dryden men to engage in the War of 1812, 
having afterward been commissioned as major of the militia of the 
olden time. He lived on the farm which he had thus commenced 
clearing in 1799 for nearly sixty 3'ears and died there on his eighty- 
fourth birthday. May 9th, 1859. Four of his family of twelve chil- 
dren are still living, one of them, Mrs. John M. Smith, still occupying 
the Ijomestead. Major Ellis is said to have been a man universally 
esteemed for honesty and the qualities which make a good citizen and 
a faithful friend. 

His brother John, whom we left in Virgil, sold his property there 
and came to Dryden in 1801, first settling here on the farm near Mal- 
lor^ville, since owned by A. B. Lamont, where he remained about 
three years. Afterwards he also resided in Ellis Hollow near his 
brother; but a few years before his death, which occurred April 10, 
184(5, he took up his final place of residence in the town on the place 
now owned by J. Wesley Hiles, one-half mile north of Dryden village. 


nearly opposite to the farm wliere his grandson, Geo. A. Ellis, now 
resides. From the date of his residence here to his death, John Ellis 
seems to have been the most prominent citizen of the town. Before 
the county of Tom})kins was organized he held the position of Judge 
of the Court of Common Pleas of Ca3'uga county, and afterwards he 
held the same office in Tompkins county. He was chosen supervisor 
of the town for twenty-seven years, was a member of the State Legis- 
lature in 1831 and 1832, besides liolding many minor offices. Subse- 
quent politicians must despair of equalling his record as an otfice 
holder, and we must all concede that he was entitled to the designa- 
tion which was given him at the time, of being " King of Dryden. " 
Among his many descendants are Thomas J. McElheny, of Ithaca, 
John E. McElhen}^ of Dryden, and the late Jennie McGraw-Fiske, to 
whom we are indebted for the South worth Library. Judge Ellis is 
said to have been a man of commanding presence, keen and quick in 
the use of his intellectual powers. A portrait of him, painted in Al- 
bany during his attendance at the State Legislature, is still owned by 
his grandson, John E. McElheny, and was on exhibition at Diydtn's 
Centennial Celebration, a copy of which is the frontispiece of this vol- 
ume. For further particulars concerning John and Peleg Ellis see 
the subsequent chapter of this History which treats of the Ellis Family 
in Dryden. 

In the year 1801 the first merchant of the town, Joel Hull, from 
Massachusetts, settled at Willow Glen, taking up his abode on the 
corner now occupied by Moses Rowland. He was also the first resi- 
dent surve^'or in the town, but it is said that he was neither a hunter 
nor a shingle maker, two qualifications which all other early settlers 
were supposed to possess. He was, however, a man of much intelli- 
gence, the first town clerk, in 1803, and a man whose advice was 
sought in legal matters, being an expert in drawing deeds and con- 
tracts. His store was opened in an addition to his house in 1802. 
His stock of goods was purchased at Aurora and consisted of a chest 
of old Bohea tea, which he sold at one dollar per pound, a quantity of 
Cavendish tobacco, at three shillings per pound, and two or three rolls 
of pig-tail tobacco, at three cents per yard, cash. As money was 
scarce, barter was in order, and one bushel of ashes would buy one 
3'ard of pig-tail. His stock also included a keg of whiskey, two or 
three pieces of calico and some narrow sheetings. He ventured more 
extensively in trade afterwards and failed in business, thus setting a 
bad example which succeeding merchants have too often followed. 
He and his familv afterwards removed to Pennsvlvania. An incident 


of him is vouched for by the " Old Man iu the Clouds " which ouoht 
to be preserved, as illustrating the condition of the country at that 
time, and is as follows : In the spring of 1803 he received, from some 
distant friends in the East, a pig, wliich was allowed to run at large 
about the liouse and in the woods and grew to be a tine shoat of sixty 
to eighty pounds. One day as Mr. Hull was choj^ping wood at his 
door he heard the pig squealing in the edge of the clearing, some fif- 
teen rods distant, as if something unusual was the matter. A windfall 
oi large pines lay between the house and the standing timber, which 
concealed the location from which the sound was heard, but taking his 
axe in hand and followed by his oldest son and Thomas Lewis, Mr. 
Hull rushed to the rescue. Arriving upon the scene he discovered a 
large bear, with the pig closeh' embraced in its fore paws, marching 
off towards the swamp. The bear shortly arrived at a log over which 
he was struggling to carry his ])rize, when Mr. Hull dashed up from be- 
hind and drove his axe into the head of the robber, killing him in- 
stantly and exclaiming at the same time, " Damn you, Bruin, I'll teach 
you the result of stealing my onl}- pig in broad daylight. " The pig, 
though badly injured, recovered antl reached full grown proportions. 

In the year 1801, there arrived from New Jersey the Lacy brothers, 
Richard, Thomas, Daniel, Benjamin and James, who located, the first, 
where Jackson Jameson now lives, the next three in Dryden village, 
and the youngest, James, near Dryden Lake. All afterwards removed 
fartlier west, except Benjamin, the father of the late John C. Lacy, of 
whom we shall have more to say hereafter in connection with Dryden 
village. In the same year two brothers, Peter and Christopher Sny- 
der, came from Oxford, N. J., and commenced a clearing on Lot 43, to 
which the}' emigrated iu the following season, as will be seen at length 
in a succeeding chapter upon the " Snyder Family in Dryden. " 

William Sweezy lived one-half mile north of Varna and a man by the 
name of Cooper settled one-half mile south of Etna as early as 1801. 

Andrew Sherwood, a soldier of the Revolution, who was the ances- 
tor of another family which has multiplied and flourished in Dryden, 
came with his son Thomas and settled on Lot No. 9 in the year 1802. 



From 179-I until 1803, as we have seen, Township No. 22 (including 
all the present towns of Enfield, Ulysses, and Ithaca, town and city) 


was merited iu its ])olitical organization with Township No. 23 (Diy- 
den) under the name of Ulysses. In the year 1794, the assessed valu- 
ation of the whole town, as thus constituted, was XlOO, and the tax 
levied £12 and 10 shillings, as they then counted money, being a tax 
of more than twelve per cent on the valuation. In 1797, the popula- 
tion of the whole town of Ulvsses was returned at 52 and the vahiation 
at $4,777, our decimal system of currency having been substituted 
for the old English form of money. In 1798 the population had in- 
creased to 60 and the valuation to $5,000. In the year 1800, the cen- 
sus shows a population of 927, a rapid increase, which continued for 
some years, but not more than one third of it belonged to what is now 
Dryden. On the jury list of Ulysses for 1801, are found the names of 
three men who resided in Township No. 28, viz : Peleg Ellis, Ichabod 
Palmerton, and Jeliiel Ronton. At the town meeting of Ulysses, held 
at the home of Nathaniel Davenport (the location of which is now in 
Ithaca) in March, 1802, it was voted "that the township of Dryden be 
set off from Ulysses." From this we infer that the name Dryden was 
commonly applied to Township No. 23 before it had a separate politi- 
cal existance, which was eftected by an Act of the Legislature passed 
Feb. 22, 1803. At the tirst town meeting, held at the home of Ca})tain 
George Robertson, March 1, 1803, the following ofRcers were chosen : 

Supervisor — George Robertson. 

Town Clerk— Joel Hull 

Assessors — John Ellis, Joel Hull, Peleg Ellis. 

Constable and Collector — Daniel Lacy. 

Pocn-masters — William Garrison, Phili]) S. Robertson. 

Commissioners of Highways — Lewis Fortner, Ezekiel Sanford, Will- 
iam Harned. 

Fence Viewers and Overseers of Highways— Amnali Peet, Ebenezer 
Clauson, David Foote, Joseph Schofield. 

Pound Master — Jolin Montayney. 

It must have been a veritable paradise for office seekers in those 
days, for every one could hold an office and still ha\e offices to s))are. 

We give in this place the full list of Supervisors, Town Clerks, and 
Justices of the Peace of the town to the present time, thus calling to 
mind many prominent citizens of by-gone days : 


George Robertson, 

- 1803 William Miller, - 

- 1805 

John Ellis, 

1804 John Ellis, - 

- 1806-12 



Jesse Stout, 

- 1813 

Smith Robertson, 

- 1851-3 

John Ellis, 


Hii'am Snyder, 


Parley Whitmore, 

- 1815 

Jeremiah W. Dwight, 

- 1857-8 

Jolm Ellis, 


Lemi Grover, - 


Parley Whitmore, 

- 1817 

Caleb Bartholome^v, 

- 1862 

John' Ellis, 

1818 34 

Luther Griswold, 


Joshua Phillips, - 


John M. Smith, - 


John Ellis, 


James H. George, 


Joshua Phillips, - 

- 1839 

Edwin R. Wade, - 

- 1874 

Elias W. Cady, 


Harrison Marvin, 

1875 9 

Hem y B. Weaver, 


James H. George, 


Jeremiah Snyder, 


George M. Rockwell, - 


Wessels S. Middaugh, 

- 1845-7 

James H. George, - 

- 1884-5 

x\lbert J. Twogood, - 


George M. Rockwell, - 


Hiram Snyder, 

- 1849 

John H. Kennedy, 


Charles Givens, 


Theron Johnson, 


TOWxN < 


Joel Hull, 


Walker Marsh, - 

- 1844-5 

William Miller, - 

- 1804 

Nelson Givens, 


Joel Hull, 


Walker Marsh, 

- 1848-9 

Derick Suttin, 

- 1808 

Nelson Givens, 


John Wickham, 


Oliver Ste\yart, 

- 1851-3 

Thomas Sonthworth, 


Richard M. Beamau, 


Isaiah Giles, - 


George H. Houtz, - 


Parley Whitmore, 


George S. Barber, 


Josiah Ne\vell, 


John S. Barber, 

- 1878 

Henry B Weaver, 


DeWitt T. Wheeler, - 


Beuj. Aldridge, 


Geo. H. Houtz, - 

- 188r-7 

Abram Bouton, 

- 1832 

C. B. Snyder, - 


Hiram Bouton, 


Henry C. Warriner, 

- 1890 

Henry B. Weaver, 

- 1834-9 

Fred E. Darling, 


Rice Weed, - 


John M. Ellis, 

- 1894-5 

Bryan Finch, 

- 1841 

Fred E. Darling, 


C. S. C. Dowe, 



Derick Sutfin, - 
Rulofi' Whitney, 

1803 Samuel Hemmingway. 
1803 Isaiah Giles, 




Ruloff Whitney, - 1810 

Jacob Piimrose, - 1811-12 

Ithamar Whipple, - 1811-12 

James Weaver, - - 1818 

Jesse Stout, - - 1818 

Parley Whitmore, - 1818 

Rice Weed, - - 1825 

Thomas Hance, Jr., - 1825 

Jesse Stout, - - 1825 
Wessels S. Middaugh, - 1829 

James McElheny, - 1830 

Schuyler Goddard, - 1831-2 

Rice Weed, - - 1833 

William H. Miller, - 1833-4 

Ephraim Sharp, - 1835 

Moses C. Brown, - - 1836 

Henry B. Weaver, - 1837 

Moses C. Brown, - - 1837 

Parley Whitmore, - 1838 

Rice Weed, - - 1838 

Wm. H. Miller, - 1838 

Elijah Fox, - - 1839 

Pai-ley Whitmore, - 1840 

Rice Weed, - - 1811 

Nicholas Brown, - 1842 

Thomas Hunt, - - 1842 

S. S. Barger, - - 1943 

Abraham Tanner, - - 1844 

Walker Marsh, - 1845 

S. S. Barger, - - 1846 

Thomas Hunt, - 1847 

Abraham Tanner, - - 1848 

Walker Marsh, - 1848 

Andrew P. Grover, - 1849 

Thomas Hunt, - 1850 

Abraham Tanner, - - 1851 

Andrew P. Grover, - 1852 

Walker Marsh, - - 1853 

Abraham Tanner, - 1854 

Eleazer Case, - - 1855 

Wdliam Scott, - 1856 

Abraham Tanner, 
Alviras Snjder, 
James H. George, 
Thomas Hunt, 
Edmund H. Sweet, 
Alviras Snyder, 
James H. George, 
Isaac Cremer, - 
Abraham Tanner, - 
Hananiah Wilcox, 
James H. George, - 
Thomas Hunt, 
Hiram Bouton, 
Hananiah Wilcox, 
Wm. W. Snyder, - 
Almanzo W. George, 
Geo. E. Goodrich, 
John W. Webster, 
Warren C. Ellis, - 
John Snyder, - 
Almanzo W. George, 
Wm. H. Goodwin, Jr. 

Wm. J. 


John W. Webster, 
John T. Morris, - 
Geo. R. Burchell, 
Wm. E. Brown, - 
Geo. E. Monroe, 
Geo. E. Hanford, - 
Geo. Snyder, - 
Wm. J. Shaver, - 
Wm. E. Brown, 
Geo. E. Underwood, 
Geo. E. Monroe, 
Alviras Snyder, 
Artemas L. Smiley, 
Geo. E. Underwood, 
Wm. E. Brown, 
Artemas L. Smiley, 
Geo. E. Monroe, 
Everel F. Weaver, 











































Geo. E. Underwood, - 1890 Geo. E. Hanford, - - 1893 

Samuel S. Hoff, - - 1891 Geo. E. Underwood, - 1894 

Wm. E. Brown, - 1891 Erastus M. Sager, - 1895 

J. Dolph Ross, - - 1892 J. Dolph Ross, - 1896 

Geo. E. Hanford, - 1892 Bert D. Oonklin, - - 1897 

We thus have before us the names of the men who for nearly a cen- 
tur}^ have had the care and management of the political organism 
known as the "Town of Drvden. " The only material change in the 
territorial extent of the township was made in 1887, when the easterly 
seven lots of the southern tier were set off and annexed to Caroline, 
for the reason that the}' were located much more conveniently to 
Slaterville as a business center than to any similar place within the 
town of Dryden. The town meetings were early held at different ho- 
tels in the town, subsequently more often at the Dryden Center House, 
until within a few years past, during which they have been held in 
election districts. The town was formerly divided into four, l)ut now 
consists of six election districts. In the old times one of the duties 
of people at town meeting was to apportion the income derived from 
the gospel and school lot between the support of the churches and 
schools, the statute requiring that it should be annually distributed 
by the voice of the people at town meeting so that each should have 
some share. In accordance with this requirement it used to be a 
standing custom at every town meeting to pass a resolution that of 
the gospel and school funds " six cents be appropriated for the sup- 
port of the gospel and that the balance be devoted to school pur- 
poses. " This was done not from disregard for the welfare of the 
gospel, but was in accordance with the general spirit of the country, 
which, wliile liberally providing for public education in the common 
schools, declined to impose any compulsory tax upon the people di- 
t rectly or indirectly, for the support of sectarian or religious institu- 
i tions. The gospel and school lot was for a long time rented and the 
I rents ap]ilied annually as above stated, but subsequently the lot was 
sold and the proceeds, about eleven thousand dollars, now forms the 
town school fund, which is loaned by the supervisor on bonds and 
mortgages and the interest applied annually for the benefit of the 
common schools of the township. 




One of tile iDemorable occurrences of this time in the town of Dry- 
den was tlie "Great Eclipse" which was witnessed June 16, 1806, 
when total ihirkness came on suddenly at mid-day, and the foAvls went 
to their roosts as though it were night. This was the only total 
eclipse of the sun to be visible in this section of the country during the 
nineteenth centuiy, and, as we may w^ell imagine, it made a deep im- 
pression upon the minds of the early inhabitants, who, as we may 
safely say, were more superstitious and less informed upon those sub- 
jects than are we of the present age. It furnished a means of fixing 
dates, and old people in later years were accustomed to speak of 
things as having taken place before or alter the " Great Eclipse, " as 
the case might be. The immigration to the town was veiy rapid dur- 
ing this time, so much so that wdien the g(nernnient census came to 
be taken in 1810, it w^as found that the town of Dryden alone con- 
tained 1,893 inhabitants, considerably more than one -third of the 
number of the present population of the town. 

We shall speak more particularly hereafter in connection with Dry- 
den village, of the arrival of the Griswolds from Connecticut and the 
Wheelers from New^ Hampshire in 1802, and of Jacob Primrose and 
others who settled at West Dryden, when we treat of that particular 
locality. Thomas Southworth, a tanner and currier, originally from 
Massachusetts, and his son John, then ten j^ears of age, located first 
at Willow Glen in 1806, and we shall have occasion to refer to them 
often hereafter in connection with Willow Glen, and Dryden village 
to which they afterward came. Rev. Daniel McAi'thnr, from Scotland, 
settled in 1811, on the farm which was after his death owned and oc- 
cupied l)y the late Ebenezer McArthur, who in his will (having no 
surviving children) devised it, subject to the life estate of his wife, tf) 
the town of Dryden as an addition to the school fund of the town. 

At about this time a small company of emigrants from the north of 
Ireland, who had temporaraily made a home in Orange countj^ of this 
state, located in the South Hill neighborhood at a place which, from 
this fact, has since been known as the Irish Settlement. This colon v 
included Hugh Thompson, who became a rigid and prominent member 
of the Presbyterian church in Dryden village, William Nelson, the 
father of Robert Nelson still residing in town, and Joseph McGraw, 
Sr., who in after vears was known to the writer as ;in active, talkative, 

EVENTS FROM 1803 TO 1812. 


but quick-witted old man, displayin,i;' in bis ready speecli a lic-li Irish 
brogue. His son John, born in this "Irish Settlement" in 1815, 
became one of the most accomplished and successful business men 
Avhich this or any other town ever produced, and his family will merit 
from us later a special biography. We here give the list of those, 
some of whom have not already been mentioned, who are known to 
have become inhabitants of the town before 1808, many of them being 
the ancestors of their now numerous descendants and of many of whom 
we shall again have occasion to speak when we come to mention the 
particular families or localities with which they are associated. The 
list is as follows : 

Bartholomew, Jesse, 
Barnes, Ichabod, 
Brown, Zephaniah 
Brown, Reuben, 
Blew, Michael, 
Brown, Israel 
Brown, Obadiah, 
Brown, Obadiah, Jr., 
Bailey, Morris, 
Bush, Peter, 
Carr, Job 
Carr, Peleg, 
Carr, Caleb, 
Conklin, John, 
Clark, Samuel, 
Gallon, William, 
Cornelius, John, 
Carpenter, Abner, 
I Cass, Aaron, 
i Dimmick, Elijah, 
! Fortner, Lewis 
i Fulkerson, Benjamin, 
) Genung, Benjamin, 

Girvin, Samuel, 
Gray, George, 
Giles, Isaiah, 
George. Joel, 
Griswold, Edward, 
(iriswold, Abram, 
Grover, Andrew, 
Hile, Nicholas, 
Horner, John, 
Hart, J(jseph, 
Hollenshead, Robert, 
Hoagland, Abraham, 

McKee, Robert, 
Ogden, Daniel 
Owens, Timothy, 
Pixley, Enoch, 
Palmerton, Ichaliod, 
Rhodes, Jacob, 
Southwick, Israel, 
Skellinger, Samuel, 
Snyder, Jacob, 
Smith, William, 
Teeter, Henry, 
Van Marter, John, 

Heramingwav, Samuel, Wheeler, Seth, 

Jennings, Benjamin, 
Jay, Joshua, 
Jameson, Thomas, 
Lewis, Amos, 
Lewis, David, 
Legg, Matthew, 
Luther, Nathaniel, 
Luce, Jonathan, 
Mineah, John, 
McKee, James, 


Wheeler, Seth 
Wheeler, Enos, 
Woodcock, Abraham, 
Wickham, John, 
White, Richard, 
Waldron, John, 
Weeks, Luther, 
Whipple, Ithamar, 
Yeoman s, Jason, 
Yeomans, Stephen, 

We may here pro])erly refer to the fact that the population of the 
town of Dryden, as well as of our county in general, was early made 
up of individuals from different, though nearly related nationalities 
and from localities widely separated. Ethnological scholars tell us 
that the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race is accounted for from the 


fact that it is made up of a union of difierent races having at no re- 
mote period the same common origin. The Saxon, Norman, Dane and 
ancient Briton were none of them es])ecially distinguished as a na- 
tionality bj- themselves, but when united for a number of generations 
the result was the formation of the Anglo-Saxon race, whose power 
and influence among the nations of the earth now surpasses all otliers^ 
and whose language, it is now conceded, will in time become the uni- 
versal language of the world. May we not in like manner expect 
great results from the development of a population whose progenitors 
included the McGraws, McElhenys, Nelsons, McKees and Lormors, 
emigrating from Ireland ; the Lamouts, McArthurs, Robertsons and 
Stewarts direct from Scotland ; the Snyders and Albrights, of Dutch, 
as well as the Dupee and DeCoudres families, of French ancestry, 
while the great majority of the early settlers, the groundwork, so to 
speak, of the new society, were of the genuine New England Y^ankee 
stock of recent English derivation, many of them coming here from 
the very confines of the " Nutmeg State." 


THE WAR OF 1812. 

In the minds of the great mass of people of the present age, the im- 
portance of our war with Great Britain, known as the War of 1812, is 
overshadowed and lost sight of in view of the War of the Revolution 
which preceded it by about thirty-five years. It is not so regarded by 
the careful student of history. The earlier war made our country free, 
but it required the latter to make us really independent and respected 
as a nation. The latter war also did much to strengthen the bond of 
union between the colonies and to make of us a nation rather than a 
mere confederation of states. 

Our ancestors were poorly prepared for either conflict with the 
mother country, supplied as she was with powerful ai'maments and 
standing armies, and it was only the necessities of the occasion which 
seemed to suddenly call forth and develop in them the courage and 
heroism which enabled them to suceeed. History affords but few in- 
stances where an inferior number of untrained men, called suddenly 
and unexpectedly to arms, have overwhelmingly defeated trained sol- 
diers as did Jackson with his hasty recruits at New Orleans ; and we 
are not required to look so far away from home for instances of the 
same character. On the Niagara frontier in 1814 (" on the lines," as it 

THE WAR OF 1812. 31 

was termed in those davsj General (then Colonel) Winfield Scott and 
his l)rave followers, usually opposed to superior numbers of the en- 
emy, performed feats of military strategy and heroism, in the battles 
of Lundy's Lane and Chippewa, which forced from the unwilling Brit- 
ish officers exclamations of wonder and admiration, and cannot be 
read by us to-day without arousing pride within us, that we are among 
the descendants of such heroes. As we read of these instances we can 
hardly realize that they are not the events of some far-oft" country, be- 
longing to some remote period of time, while they actually did occur 
within the present century and within five hours ride by rail fi-om 
wliere we now live. With the exception of some skirmishes with the 
Indians, and some events of the same character near Oswego, this is 
tlie nearest that war ever came, and we trust it is the nearest it ever 
will come, to our doors. How many of us realize that the company of 
Dryden militia which went out to " the lines " under Captain (after- 
wards Major) Peleg Ellis, in July, 1812, were taken prisoners together 
with Colonel Winfield Scott at the battle of Queenston, which proved 
to be the Bunker Hill or Bull Ptun of that war, but was followed by 
hard earned victories which in the end placed the balance largely in 
our favor and secured a triumphant result? 

It is to be regretted that we — and especially our young people — in 
choosing our reading matter, select descriptions of incidents far re- 
moved from us in time and space, or more often amuse ourselves by 
reading the alluring inventions of fiction ; and then, when we chance 
to visit Niagara Falls and see on the opposite shore the imposing and 
magnificent Brock monument, 194 feet high, constructed of Niagara 
limestone and erected on Queenston Heights, the most prominent 
landmark as seen from Lewiston on the American side, we are com- 
pelled to remain silent or expose our ignorance by asking what that 
imposing column was designed to commemorate. If my readers will 
obtain from the Southworth Library, or elsewhere, " Lossing's Field 
Book of the War of 1812, " a large and interesting volume, devoted to 
the description and illustrating the leading events of this war, they 
will find that the perusal of it will well repay their efi"ort and enable 
them to repel to some extent at least the charge so often made with 
a degree of truth, that Americans are wofuUy ignorant of their 
own history. They will find in it a reference to Colonel (afterwards 
General) Bloom, of our adjoining town of Lansing, and afterwards 
sheriff of Tompkins county, and to the regiment (which included the 
first Dryden company) which he led at Queenston, where he was 
wounded. We are indebted to the researches of Charles F. Mulks, of 


Ithaca, for the iiit'onnation that A;iion Cass, oue of the Dryden com- 
pany from near Ellis Hollow, was struck on the head by a British 
cannon ball and instantly killetl while the regiment was crossino- the 
Niao-ara river in l)oats to take ]>art in the liattle of Queenston. Cass 
had been a distinguished soldier of the Reyolution from Connecticut, 
was a brother-in-law of Aaron Bull, and settled in Ellis Hollow in 
180-i. Other soldiers of the Dryden company were Aaron Genung, 
from near Varna ; Arthur and Stephen B. June, Marcus Palmerton, 
Jonathan Luce, George McCutcheon and Peter Snyder. With the ex- 
ce]ition of the statement that Judge John Ellis afterwards went out to 
" the lines " with the second Dryden ci)m|)any of militia, leavmt^- but 
fourteen iible -botlied men in the townshi}), these are all of the re- 
corded facts which we are ;d)le to giye concerning Dryden's i^articipa- 
tion in the War of 1812. It is regretted that the accounts of Dryden's 
yolunteers (^f that date are so meaner, and it reminds us of the 
necessity of committing to a written record the achievements of the 
Drj-den soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, before all of thera shall 
have passed away, or they, too, will be lost to local history. 

We are fortunately able to give from the relation of Thomas J. Mc- 
Elheny, wdiose mother was a niece of Major Ellis, an incident of the 
battle of Queenston w-hich he has often heard his great-uncle relate, 
and which is as follows : As the Dryden company were crossing the 
Niagara river to the Canada side, Stephen B. June, impressed with 
the importance of the occasion and boiling over with the true martial 
spirit, arose in his lioat and swinging his hat tletiantly called out as 
the watchwords of the expedition: "Death, Hell or Canada." This 
was early in the morning of the day when everything was hopeful and 
but few of the enemy were in sight. The battle of the morning was 
successful. A landing on the Canada shore was effected, the Queens- 
ton Heights were gallantly scaled and captured and the Commanding- 
General Brock of the enemy was mortally wounded in the conflict. 
But in the afternoon the reinforcements of the enemy arrived in over- 
wdielming numbers, while the help expected from the American side 
failed to appear, and after a brave but hopeless effort at resistance, 
the wdiole American force, including Colonel Scott and Captain Ellis 
with their followers, were taken prisoners. Not seeing his townsman, 
Stephen B. June, among the prisoners, Captain Ellis went back on 
the battle field to look him up, and after searching found him very 
severely wounded by a ball which had entered his mouth and ]iassed 
out of the back of his neck, just below the base of the skull, fortunate- 
ly missing the spinal cord. Finding that June was alive and still con- 

EVENTS FROM 1812 TO 1822. 33 

scions, altliouoh fearfully wounded, Captain Ellis asked liim which it 
was now, " Death, Hell or Canada, " to which the wounded soldier 
feebly but firmly replied : " I can't tell quite yet, Captain, which it is, 
l)ut when the British bullet struck nio I thought I had them all three 
at once. " June lived to return home and, if we are not mistaken, 
some of his family descendants are still inhabitants of the town. 

Since writing the above we learn that Geo. R. Burchell, Esq., of Dry- 
den, is a great-nephew of that same Stephen B. June, although the 
most of that family have removed to Alleghany county and further 
west. The original commission of Major Ellis as captain, issued to 
him February 11, 1811, by Daniel D. Tompkins, then governor of the 
state, is one of the relics which were on exhibition at Dryden's Cen- 
tennial Celebration. 


EVENTS FROM 1812 TO 1822. 

In the year 1813 there was pul)lished at Albany the first edition of 
" Spatford's N. Y. State Gazetteer, " which contains the earliest de- 
scription of the town of Dryden which we have found, and probably 
the first ever printed, which we therefore reproduce here in full as- 
follows : 

" Dryden — A post-township in the southeastern extremity of Cayuga 
county, 35 miles S. of Auburn, 170 west of Albany ; bounded N. by 
Locke, E. by Virgil in Cortlandt county, S. by Tioga county, ^Y. by 
Seneca county | which then included Ithaca] and the town of Geneva 
I Genoa (? ) the part now Lansing.) 

" It is 10 miles square, being one of the military townships, and has 
a considerable diversity of surface, soil and timber. 

" Fall Creek of Cayuga Lake with several branches spreads over the 
northern and central parts, and Six Mile creek, a fine mill stream^ 
rises in the S. E. corner, runs into Tioga comity and returns across 
the S. W. towards the head of Cayuga Lake. There is also another 
small stream, and there is an abundance of mill seats, with consider- 
able tracts of alluvion ; though the general character is hilly Avitli 
pretty lofty ridges. The soil of the alluvion is warm, rich and pro- 
ductive ; that of the uplands rather wet and cold, but excellent for 
pasture and meadow. There are two grain mills and carding ma- 
chines. There are some congregations of Baptists and Presbyterians 


who have houses of worshij), but I am not infoimed of their uuniber ; 
and 4 or 5 school houses. The settlements were commenced about 
1800, and in 1810 the population amounted to 1890, when there were 
310 families and 213 senatorial electors. The whole taxable property, 
as assessed in 1810, $84,099. There are 3 turnpike roads that cross 
this town, besides common roads in various directions. The inhab- 
itants are principally farmers whose farms and looms sup]ih' much of 
their common clothing. — N. T. R. P. " 

In the year 1814 at a special town meeting a board (4 town school 
superintendents was first elected, consisting of Joshua Phillips, Peleg 
Ellis and John Ellis. Afterwards in the same year they met and 
divided the town into fourteen school districts, which have since Ijeen 
increased to twentj^-seven. The amount of public school money dis- 
bursed by this board to all the districts in 1814 was $192.47, not one 
quarter of the amount now annually received b}^ the Dryden village 
district alone. In no department of public affairs has there been such 
a marked and continual improvement as in the matter of education in 
the common schools. Our young people should realize that in school 
opportunities they have a great advantage over the school children of 
even twenty-five years ago, while their privileges in this respect are 
not to be compared with the very meager opportunities which were 
offered for school education in the Pioneer Period of Dryden's history. 

The year 1816 was known as the " cold season, " in which nearl}" all 
of the crops were destroyed by summer frosts, and great scarcity, 
almost a famine, resulted. It should be borne in mind that there 
were no such means of transportation then as now to relieve a section 
where the crops had failed, and no great supply of produce was car- 
ried over from year to year. 

In this year, 1816, Elias W. Cady moved in from Columbia county 
and located on the farm near Willow Glen which he owned and oc- 
cupied for more than sixty years, becoming one of the most prosper- 
ous farmers of the town. He was a member of the State Legislature 
in 1850 and 1857, and his grandson, John E. Cady, has in recent years 
twice held the same position. Elias W. Cady in his later years used 
to delight to tell how, when he first came to Dryden, Parley Whitmore, 
who kept a store in Dryden village near where the M. E. church now 
stands, refused to trust him for a few pounds of nails, and he was 
obliged to take a load of produce to Albany to get them. 

In the next year, 1817, the new county of Tompkins w^as formed, 
and Dryden became a part of it, instead of being the southeast cor- 


ner of Cayuga county. Cortlandt county (so spelled in those days) 
had been formed in 1808, and an unsuccessful effort Avas made in the 
Legislature in the same year, supported by petitions from some of 
Dryden's citizens, to make this town a part of it. 

A state census made in 1808 shows that the number of electors at 
that time in the town of Dryden whose farms exceeded in value XlOO 
(about $500) each, was seventy-four; two others had farms exceeding 
in value =£'20 (about $100), while the number of electors who rented 
tenements of the yearly value of forty shillings was returned at 174. 
The census of 1810 having shown a population in the town of 1890, 
that of 1814 shows an increase to 2545, while that of 1820 returns a 
population of 3995, showing a very rapid increase and reaching, near 
the end of the first quarter of the Century Period, a number slight!}' 
exceeding that of the present population, the highest number ever 
reached being 5851 returned in 1835, while the latest returns, accord- 
ing to the census of 1892 after the loss of seven lots in 1888, show 
a present population of 3912. The causes which have influenced this 
sudden increase and afterwards the gradual decrease of our popula- 
tion will be treated of in a separate chapter hereafter. 

CHAPTER XII. 1235123 


We have now hastily passed over the first twenty-five years of the 
liistory of the town of Dryden, as a whole, commencing from the first 
settlement in 1797 and extending to the year 1822. We shall refer to 
it hereafter as the Pioneer Period, being the first quarter of the cen- 
tury of DrA^den's inhabitation by her present race of population. To 
obtain a correct and reliable view of this period, we have been obliged 
to look back beyond the reach of human memory and to rely upon 
such information as tradition and the fragmentary records of those 
early times afford. Reliable memoranda of those times, when ob- 
tainable, have been quoted minutely as furnishing the most trust- 
worthy means of obtaining a correct idea of the condition and habits 
of our ancestors in that distant period. 

We can readily understand that the wilderness was not transformed 
into fine cultivated fields, such as we now have, during that time. The 
best of the farms must have been thickly beset with, stumps and cradle 
knolls when the year 1822 dawned upon the new country. Farming 
tools and implements of husbandry were then few and of the rudest 


character. Mr. Bouton says that the first cast iron plow seen in the 
town of Virgil was introduced there in the year 1817, and we may as- 
sume that Dryden was not much in advance of her older sister town 
in that respect. Hitherto plowing had been done with a home-made 
wooden implement, held with a single handle, tlie original " mould 
board "' being of wood instead of iron. Fortunate was the farmer in 
those days who possessed a sickle with which to cut by hand his grain 
standing in the fallow, a handful at a time, and when it had been 
threshed with the flail, the willow fan and riddle afforded the best 
means of cleaning it for use or market. Such roads as then existed 
through the woods would now be considered almost impassable and 
all means of ti*ansportation were so difficult and expensive that people 
lived as far as possible upon their own productions. Log houses were 
the rule and frame buildings the exception, even at the end of this 
period. We have queried as to whether any old houses, first con- 
structed in those times, still exist, without becoming much tbe wiser 
for the speculation ; but we mistrust that the little red house, now 
used as a storage building on the Burlingame farm, near the reservoir 
of the Dryden Village Water Works, is among the oldest survivors of 
former dwellings. It Avas the home of Edward Griswold, Sr., when he 
was the owner of a large jjart, at least, of the lot (No. 39), a mile 
square, near the center of which it still stands. John C. Lacy, in his 
Reminiscences, states that within his recollection (he was born in Dry- 
den in 1808) the Dr. Briggs house, originally built by Dr. Phillips, on 
South street, but now moved off and occupied by John McKeon, on 
Lake street, was the finest house in Dryden village. 

All of the dwellings of this period were lighted as well as heated 
from the fire in the open fire-place, tallow candles even at this time 
being a luxury only to be used on special occasions. Many a time 
has the thrifty, industrious housewife of our ancestors, with the aid 
of the numerous small children " who played around her door, " gath- 
ered in at twilight a suppl}^ of pine knots so that she might have them 
to throw on the fire as needed to enable her to spin b}^ their light in 
the long fall and wdnter evenings. We regret that we are unable to 
do justice to the pioneer Mother of that period, for the reason that 
no record was ever made and kept of her hardships and privations, 
there having been no " strong-minded women " in those days to record 
them ; and our only remedy is to give to her a full half of all the 
credit which belongs to the pioneer families for all of that which was 

Sheep husbandry prospered in the new country as soon as the 


sheep could be protected from the wild animals of the surroiindiii<4- 
forests, and the cultivation of flax was early introduced. So abundant 
was the flax seed left after the fiber was worked up into cloth, that an 
oil mill to express the linseed oil was early in operation on what is 
now South street in Dryden villaoe, the heavy frame of which mill 
still serves to support a dilapidated barn, the covering of which was 
put on new since its use as an oil mill was discontinued. The plain 
clothing of the family was made from homespun linen and woolen 
cloth, coarse and heav}^ but at the same time strong and durable. 

Joseph McGraw, Sr., already referred to as the father of the mil- 
lionaire, John McGraw, came into the settlement in this period as a 
professional weaver, going from house to house to work on the hand 
looms of those days and to instruct others in the art ; and his fellow 
townsman, Benjamin Wood, the grandfather of our ex-governor, A. 
B. Cornell, at the same time was known and employed as a " reed 
maker, " manufacturing by hand from reeds the delicate parts of the 
looms by which the warp was manipulated in the process of weaving. 
Mr. Wood early resided near Willow Glen in the little old wood- 
colored house recently taken down on the farm formerly owned by 
Charles Cady ; but afterwards he became the proprietor of the prem- 
ises near Etna, known as Woodlawn. A subsequent chapter will be 
devoted to Mr. Wood and his family. 

We have intentionally omitted from our narrative some hunting and 
fishing stories which have come down to us, suspecting that even the 
good and true old men of those times, like their descendants, might be 
given to exaggeration upon those subjects, and preferring to leave them 
out altogether rather than to furnish exaggerated fiction under the 
guise of reliable history. We should, however, say something con- 
cerning the wild animals which were native here when disturbed in 
their haunts by the pioneers. 

Of the larger animals the deer were very abundant and did not 
wholly disappear from the forests of the town until about 1835. It 
seems to be stated upon good authority that Peleg Ellis, during the 
flrst autumn of his settlement in Dryden, lulled eighteen deer so near 
his log house that he drew them all up to his door upon his ox sled. 
The woods were full of small game and the squirrels and chipmunks 
were so abundant that when the raising of grain was first attempted 
in the small clearings entirely surrounded by the forest, it was almost 
impossible to save it from destruction b}' these pests. It was only by 
|)ersistent trapping and hunting and sometimes by the use of poisoned 
bait that the crop was secured. The bears and wolves were some- 


what troublesome, but tliey soon avoided the neighborhood of the 
settlements. The only animal which seriously endangered human 
life, and that not often except when hunted and at bay, was the cou- 
gar, or puma, or American lion as it was sometimes called, and often 
referred to by old people as the painter or panther, but improperly so, 
the true panther being a denizen of Africa. This cougar or puma was 
a cat-like carniverous animal about five feet long, of a reddish brown 
color above and nearly white underneath, being closely related to the 
leopard family of animals. It was King of Beasts on the American 
continent, nearly all of which it originally inhabited, and woe to the 
unsuspecting deer or other animal which passed under the tree from 
which it was watching to spring upon its prey. It had a peculiar cry 
which was sometimes mistaken for that of a human being in distress, 
and many were the thrilling stories told of it by the early settlers, 
although it was too cowardly to often attack mankind. 

The American eagle, too, in early times made his home in Dryden, 
as appears from the following account published in the Ithaca Daily 
Journal of April 20, 1880, as copied from the Dubuque (Iowa) Times 
of an earlier date : 

" In the years of 1828-9 a man discovered an eagle's nest in the top 
of a pine tree on the bank of Fall Creek in the town of Dryden, Tomp- 
kins county, N. Y., east of the town of Ithaca. The tree was cut and 
three young bald-headed eagles just ready to fly left the nest before 
the tree reached the ground. They were caught. One of them was 
presented to Roswell Randall, a wealthy and prominent merchant re- 
siding in Courtland Villa, Courtland county, N. Y. He caged, fed and 
cared for the bird two or three years. It grew fast and became a very 
large, noble bird of attraction. Mr. Randall placed the caged prisoner 
by the side of the front walk leading to his beautiful mansion, in the 
foregrounds, that visitors and passers-by could easily enjoy the sight. 
Finally the bird caused so much trouble that Mr. Randall gave it to 
William Bassett, a near neighbor, who was an engraver and silver- 
smith ; in politics an old line Whig. In 1881 a Fourth of July cele- 
bration was had in the village. Mr. Bassett being a public spirited 
man, added largely to the enjoyment of the day by preparing a silver 
clasp with these words engraved upon it, viz : ' To Henry Clay, of 
Louisville, Ky., from Wm. Bassett, of Courtland Villa, Courtland coun- 
ty, N. Y.,' and riveting it loosely, around one of the legs of the eagle 
carried the bird and placed it on top of the cupola of the Eagle Hotel 
in the village, its head in a southwest direction. The military corpa 


and citizens being drawn up in front of the hotel, the eagle Avas set 
at liberty. It stood erect upon the cupola, made three flaps with its 
wings, then set off southwest. The military were ordered to fire, the 
citizens, swinging their hats, gave three cheers for Henry Clay. The 
eagle continued its course till out of sight. " 

This was on the Fourth of July, 1831. The sequel subsequently 
appeared in the Western papers giving an account of a " large bald- 
headed eagle being shot by an Indian on a high, towering bluff on the 
v/est bank of the Mississippi, about three miles north of Dubuque, on 
the eleventh day of Jaly, 1831, measuring seven feet three inches from 
tip to tip of outstretched wings, having an engraved silver clasp rivet- 
ed around one of bis legs reading as follows, viz : ' To Henry Clay, of 
Louisville, Ky., from Wm. Bassett, of Courtland Villa, N. Y. ' In 
seven days from the time this noble bird graced the dome of the Eagle 
Hotel and set sail in the direction of Henry Clay's residence he was 
shot as above stated. " 

This incident was first furnished to the press by G. R. West, who 
was present at the celebration at Cortland in 1831 and saw the eagle 
take its flight from the old Eagle Hotel, which stood where the Mes- 
senger House is now located in Cortland village, and the promontory 
on the Iowa bank of the Mississippi river, where the eagle was shot 
as above stated, has since been known as " Eagle Point, " and is a 
land-mark for all steamboat men on the upper Mississippi. 

But the most interesting of the native animals which inhabited Dry- 
den was the beaver. These industrious creatures were about the size 
of a small dog, and lived on the bark of trees, taking up their habita- 
tions in colonies of fifty or more each, in the streams, across which 
they built dams with wonderful instinctive sagacity. They formed 
houses of sticks plastered with mud so regular and perfect that they 
seemed almost to be the work of human hands. It was some time 
before the writer could ascertain to a certainty that the beaver in- 
habited Dryden. The name " Beaver Creek, " applied to a sluggish, 
muddy stream in the northeast corner of the township, first suggested 
the thought and was followed up by inquiry which develops the fact 
that the remains of a beaver dam could be distinctly seen in the woods 
on this creek as late as twenty-five years ago. These interesting ani- 
mals carried so much value in the fur upon their backs that they could 
not long survive the efforts of the pioneer hunters to capture them, and 
hence they early disappeared from this section of the country, so that 
their former presence here had been almost forgotten. 




We now enter upon the second quarter-century of Dryden's inhab- 
itation, extending from 1823 to 1847 inclusive, which, for the want of 
a more appropriate name, we shall refer to as the " Period of De- 
velopment." The term development might properly be applied to 
the entire period of Dryden's history, but we feel justified in ap- 
plying it especially here from the fact that during this particular 
time the town suppi)rted, and was developed by the aid of, its larg- 
est number of inhabitants, and the change of its territory- from a 
^'howling wilderness" to a productive, civilized country township was 
more rapid at this time than at any other. We shall not attempt 
to revieAv the events of this period so much in their chronological 
order as was done in treating the " Pioneer Period, " but we shall 
view the development of our subject from several different standpoints, 
first giving attention to the matter of transportation. 

As we have already seen, the earliest pioneer settlers came bringing 
their scanty supplies on ox-sleds with wooden shoes, the primitive 
" Bridle Road " presumably not being adapted to transportation by 
wheeled vehicles, even in the summer time. At the end of the first 
twenty -five years the principal thoroughfares had become passable 
by wagons and stages, the stumps having been removed, the low- 
places being filled with corduroy crossing and the principal streams 
being spanned with ])ole l)ridges. Our highwa3^s are none too good 
a,t the present time, but we can realize that very much has been done, 
and much time and labor has been required, to bring them to. even 
their present state of development. Those of us who have occasion to 
use '• woods roads " of the present day are not surprised to read the 
accounts of the frequency with which the early teamsters became 
" mired " in using the only means of transportation which was then 
afforded. In view of these circumstances we are not surprised to 
learn that the first mail was carried by a man on f(wt between Oxford 
and Ithaca from 1811 to 1817, and that the first stage commenced 
running between Homer and Ithaca through Dryden in 1824. Other 
localities seem to have been more early favored than ours in thi.^ 
respect and the Bath and Jericho Turnpike, chartered by the State in 
1804, and later forming a part of the old Ithaca and Catskill stage 
route and still known as the "turnpike" from Slaterville to Ithaca, 
passing through the southwest corner of our town, was one of the 



•early^tlioroughfares connecting the East with the West. But during- 
the period of which we are now speaking transportation on the prin- 
cipal highways, in the absence of all other means, was very much em- 
])loyed, and upon the Bridle Road between Dryden and Ithaca nearh', 
if not quite, a dozen local hotels or " Taverns, " as they were then 
called, ministereil to the wants of travelers and teamsters, and in so 
doing conducted a thriving business. One of them was the Dryden 
Center House originally built and operated early in this period by 
Benjamin Aldrich, already mentioned among the early town oflicers. 


Unlike most of these country inns the Center House has not been per- 
mitted to run down, but under the management of its present proprie- 
tor, Gardner W. S. Gibson, has been rejiaired and improved so that 
it now presents a modern appearance, fully in keeping with its prom- 
inence in the early history of the town. Here for a long time town 
meetings were held and the official business of the town transacted 
and it is still patronized as the proper place for holding town cau- 
cuses. It was not uncommon in those days for such farmers as Ed- 
ward Griswold and Elias W. Cady to take a wagon load of produce to 
market at Albany, returning with a load of store goods, and at certain 


seasons of the year the roads to Syracuse \\evo, lined with teamsters 
returning with wagon loads of salt, lime and plaster, after having 
taken loads of farm produce to market. Towauda, then the head of 
navigation on the Susquehanna river, was also a favorite shipping- 
point at which Dryden farmers marketed their produce. 

The Erie Canal (" Clinton's Ditch" as it was derisively called in 
those times) was opened to navigation in 1825, and in the absence of 
railroads it soon became a great aid in the means of transportation. 
Some of the later settlers of this period, James Tripp, for example, 
who came in from Columbia county in 1836, shipped their goods by 
way of the canal and drove across the country with their horses and 
wagons. The Ithaca & Owego Railroad, the second to be chartered 
in the State, passed over a small corner of Dryden and was opened in 
1834, but it was operated wholly by horse powder in those days, and 
gave but little indication of the efficiency, as a means of transporta- 
tion, afforded by railroads of the present time. Still until the finan- 
cial panic of 1836, which was a temporary set back, this w^as a time of 
rapid growth and prosperity. Permanent buildings were constructed 
and manufacturing enterprises were instituted. The only brick dwell- 
ing ever constructed in Dryden village was built by John South worth 
in 1836. The Mallory brothers, from Homer, in 1826 located on Fall 
Creek at a point since called from them, Malloryville, and there oper- 
ated a saw-mill, chair factory, carding and cloth dressing machinery 
and a dye house, employing from thirty to forty hands, and prosper- 
ing until their mills were destroyed by fire in 1836, when they re- 
moved farther w^est. One of these Mallory brothers (Samuel) recent- 
ly died at Elkhorn, Wisconsin, in his ninety-ninth year. 

One of the distressing occurrences of this time, but one which we 
do not feel at liberty to omit from our History, which professes to 
speak of all the prominent events, resulted from the connection of the 
murderer, Edward H. Ruloff, wdtli the town of Dryden. In the year 
1842 he served as a school teach 3r in Dryden village and numbers of 
his pupils are still residents here. He came originally from the 
province of New Brunswick. On December 31, 1843, he married 
Miss Harriet Schutt, a lovely Dryden girl seventeen j-ears of age, who 
had been one of his pupils. They moved to the town of Lansing. In 
1845 a daughter was born to them, but shortly afterw-ards the wife 
and daughter disappeared, the only visible means of their disappear- 
ance being a large strong wooden box with which Ruloff was seen 
to drive away in a wagon towards Cayuga Lake. 

He w^as soon after arrested in the West and brought back to this 


county; the bottom of the lake was diedo;ed for the box in vain, and,, 
there being no direct evidence of murder, Ruloff was finally sentenced 
to ten years in State's Prison for abducting his wife. Having served 
his term he was released and disappeared from pul)lic view until the 
3'ear 1871, when he was convicted of participating in a robbery and 
murder at Binghamton, for which he was executed. He was a singu- 
lar character, being a profound and diligent student, and his career was. 
an interesting, though terrible one, afterwards being made the sub- 
ject of magazine articles upon moral insanit}', of which it seemed to 
furnish a striking example. 



If we examine a small inland body of water, such as our Dryden 
Lake — known to the early inhabitants as " Little Lake " — we shall 
find that it is connected with a small stream known as the inlet and 
a larger one called the outlet. During the spring floods the inflow is 
greater than the outflow, the result being that the water rises in the 
lake until it reaches what is called " high water mark. " Then during- 
the dry summer and autumn, as the inflow is rapidly decreased while 
the outflow continues unabated, the supply of water is reduced until 
" low water mark " is reached. Now, if we will picture to ourselves 
our town of Dryden as the dry bed of a lake, to which the tide of im- 
migration commenced to flow in 1797, and continued to flow rapidly 
until 1835, when the increasing outflow of emigration exceeded the 
diminishing inflow of immigration, and has so continued ever since^ 
we shall have in mind before us the comparison sought for, to cor- 
rectly illustrate this subject. Many of the early inhabitants or their 
children continued their migrations to points farther west. For ex- 
ample we have seen that a number of the children of Captain Robert- 
son, the first freeholder of the town, early sought new homes in the 
West, where they have made reputations for themselves. Of the five 
Lacy brothers all of whom settled here in 1801, four in later years 
moved on further west, while only one, the father of the late John C. 
Lacy, remained. Until we come to consider it carefully, but few of us 
can realize the great and continuous drain which has been made 
upon the older settlements of the East to build up and populate the 
Great West during the past seventy-five years. 

The writer was strikingly reminded of the reality of this fact upon 


liis first visit to the West some twenty-tive years ago. At the end of 
liis journey he found liimself in an inhmd town of tlie state of Michi- 
gan, imagining himself to be a stranger in ;i strange hind. Having 
occasion to call upon a justice of the peace he stopped at the first 
office wliich displayed a sign of that character, hesitating to introduce 
himself as from Dryden, N. Y., doubting whether the inmate of the 
office had ever heard of such a place. Mustering up his courage, 
however, he ventured to state to the officer where he was from, and 
you may imagine his surprise upon the magistrate's extending his 
hand saying : " Why, I used to live in Dryden, " and he immediately 
commenced inquiring about some of the old citizens of Dryden, whom 
he had known here thirty years before. A gentleman who happened 
to be in the office reading a newspaper, here interrupted by saying : 
"'■ I never lived in Dryden, but ni}' wife used to be a resident of that 
town. " The surprise and revelation was coniplete, and furthei- ex- 
perience in states farther west has confirmed the fact, that the great 
western part of our country is thickly sprinkled over with inhabitants 
who have either themselves been at some time residents of Dryden or 
whose ancestors came from our town. Hardly a city of any size or 
n county in any of the Western States can be found to-day which has 
not some inhabitants who in this way derive their origin from the 
town of Dryden. They are found among all the classes and condi- 
tion of the Western population, from the farmer and common laborer 
to the Legislators and Judges, the town of Dryden having recently 
furnished to one of the newly formed Western states its first elected 

If all of the western population who can trace their origin directly 
or indirectly to the town of Diyden, could have been brought together 
at our Centennial Celebration, the whole township would have been 
taxed to its utmost to furnish accommodation for the vast concourse 
of people, and the grounds of the Agricultural Society would have 
been inadequate to furnish them standing room. 

In view of these facts it is no disparagement to the town that its 
population has decreased for the past sixt}^ years. The Great West 
has continuall}' been offering superior advantages to our young men, 
the more ambitious and adveutursome of whom have been and still 
are taking advantage of these opportunities, leaving behind the more 
conservative (and shall we say less enterprising?) to till the same 
farms and pursue in a quiet way the same avocations as was done by 
our fathers before us. And yet, m spite of this drain upon the best 
life blood of the po]nilation, we shall submit to those former residents 


who shall from time to time revisit us, that we have not permitted 
the town to run down in its enterprise and productiveness, l)nt that 
with the aid of improved machinery and better buildings and methods, 
the farms, as a whole, have been improved and rendered more pro- 
ductive, while the general business interests of the people, with bet- 
ter means of manufacture and transportation, and superior education- 
al advantages, have not suflered in comparison with the earlier times. 
There is coming a limit to this outflow of population, the Great West 
is filling up, and the time is sure to come when the tide of migration 
Avill ebb back to our shores, and then the town of Dryden will support 
a greater and we trust a more prosperous population than ever before. 



During this " development " period Dryden was emphatically a lum- 
bering town. Agricultural operations had been developed sufficiently 
to support the population, but the surplus product of the township at 
this time in this era of building was mainly pine lumber of a superior 
quality. This did not need to seek a distant market but was in ready 
demand at the low price which then prevailed of from four to five dol- 
lars per thousand feet by the country immediately north and east 
of us, which was not well supplied with pine timber. The following 
statistics concerning Dryden are gathered from the second edition of 
" Spafl^ord's N. Y. Gazetteer," published in 1824, and furnish valuable 
data bearing upon this subject of the occupation of the people : 

Number of grist-mills in town, 4 ; saw-mills, 26 ; fulling-mills, 2 ; 
carding-machines, 4 ; distilleries, 5 ; asheries, 4 ; population, 3,950 ; 
taxable property, $208,866 ; electors, 733 ; farmers, 2,005 ; mechanics, 
132 ; shop-keepers or traders, 4 ; numl)er of families, 634 ; acres of im- 
proved land, 14,323 ; number of neat cattle, 3,670 ; number of horses, 
674 ; number of sheep, 6,679 ; number of yards of cloth manufactured 
in families in 1821, 37,300 ! ! Number of school districts, 20 ; public 
school money in 1821, $576.05. 

We observe from this record the small number of horses kept com- 
pared with cattle ; the small number of store-keepers compared with 
the number of farmers and mechanics, and the small amount of tax- 
able property, not being one-fifth of what the farm buildings of the 
town are to-day insured for in the Dryden and Groton compan}'. 

In the year 1835 the number of saw-mills in operation was fifty- 


three, all employed in working up the great quantity of timber, mostly 
pine, which produced the read}' money for the people, the predomi- 
nance of which industry greatly retarded other farming interests. 
The picturesque fences of pine stumps, now disappearing, but which 
have served their purpose in this form for half a century, often attract 
the attention of strangers and are reminders of tlie former abundance 
of pine. Any person who has occasion to pass through the wood- 
land remaining on the Dryden hills to-day may observe the large 
weather-beaten but almost imperishable pine stumps still standing in 
the woods, from which the wealth of pine timber was taken in this peri- 
od of our history. Every merchant of those times kept in connection 
with his store a lumber yard, where he received from his customers 
lumber in exchange for goods. John McGraw, then a clerk in a Dry- 
den village store, obtained his first lessons in the lumber business in 
handling the local pine timber of the town, from the profits of which 
he obtained his start in the financial world, and afterwards applying 
his experience thus obtained to larger operations elsewhere, he amas- 
sed the fortune which netted over two million dollars to his estate 
after his decease. Dryden must then have presented the appearance 
of a vast lumber camp, the fifty-three saw-mills, all run by water 
power, giving employment to a great many men in cutting logs, draw- 
ing them to mill, and manufacturing and marketing the lumber, opera- 
tions all requiring much more labor to produce the same results then 
than now. Like all lumbering communities Dryden did not present a 
very advanced or refined state of development in that period, and 
John Southworth, who was a keen and careful observer of men and 
things in those times in which he participated, used to say in after 
years that the Dryden farmer, who occasionally took out of his clear- 
ing in those days to the county seat of this or an adjoining county 
with his ox team a load of lumber, or perhaps a cargo of charcoal, or 
sometimes a feAv barrels of potash salts leached from the ashes 
gathered after the burning of his fallow, when he was interrogated by 
the tradesmen to whom he sold his products as to Avhere his home 
was, would admit with no little hesitation and embarrassment, that he 
lived "just in tlie edge of Dryden." 

A great change has taken place since that time. The pine timber 
lands, so valuable to the lumbermen, but after the removal of the tim- 
ber, so beset with obstacles in the shape of the pine roots and stumps, 
so troublesome to the agriculturist, have at length been subdued and 
reduced to cultivation, and prove to be possessed of rich and enduring 
qualities of fertility. The disposition of the Dryden farmers to devote 


their efforts to dairyiiifjj iusteacl of grain-raising has tended to improve 
rather than diminish the natural resources of the soil. In place of the 
original pine timber, excellent farm buildings have been supplied, and 
the Dry den farmer is no longer ashamed to acknowledge the location 
of his home. In fact his tendencies now seem to be in the other ex- 
treme, and subject him to the charge that he believes that his town 
was created a little better than the rest of the world in general. The 
interest which was manifested in the celebration of Dryden's Centen- 
nial, is proof of the pride which her inhabitants now take in acknowl- 
edging and honoring their native town. 



We have failed to mention the war with Mexico, which occurred 
during this period from 184G to 1848, resulting in the addition to our 
country of a vast amount of western territory, including California. 
This war did not excite great interest in the state of New York, and so 
far as we can learn no organized effort was made in Dryden to pro- 
mote it, and no volunteers, except perhaps a few scattering adven- 
turers, went from Dryden to engage in it. It was a Southern measure, 
not over popular at that time in the North, although in its results it 
proved to be important and highly beneficial to the country at large. 

This was an era of prosperity in which the value of real estate and 
other property maintained a healthy improvement. As the water 
power used by the saw-mills ceased to be required for that purpose 
on account of the rapidly decreasing supply of saw logs, attention was 
given to other kinds of manufacturing to which these water powers 
were adapted ; and hence many of the mills and factories of the town 
date back to this period. 

During this time stoves to a great extent took the place of the old- 
fashioned fireplaces, and tallow candles furnished the means of house 
lighting in the evening, supplemented toward the end of this period by 
sperm oil lamps and an explosive burning fluid com]iounded of cam- 
phine and alcohol. 

The anti-slavery movement developed largely during this time. 
The census of 1820 shows that there were then held in the county 
of Tompkins fifty slaves, of whom thirty-two were held in the town of 
Caroline, nine in the town of Hector, six in the town of Danby and 
three in Ulysses ( then including Ithaca), but none were then held in 


the towns of Drydeu, Groton or Lansing. In the preliminary draft of 
this chapter we said that we found no evidence that negro slavery ever 
existed in the town of Dryden. We had learned that Edward Gris- 
wold kept in his family an old negro by the name of Jack O'Liney, 
who had once been a slave, but who seems to have been harbored by 
Mr. Griswold as a subject of charit}'. Further investigation develops 
the fact that Aaron Lacy, who came to Dryden in 1799, while he re- 
sided on the Stickles corner in Willow Glen, bought and kept as a do- 
mestic servant, a slave girl by the name of Ann Wisner, remembered 
by some of the older people as " Black Ann," who was sent to school 
b^' her master m the Willow Glen district in those earl}' years, and 
who, after her emancipation moved to Ithaca and has since then fre- 
quently revisited the family of her former master. In the will of Aa- 
ron Lacy dated in the year 1826 and recorded in the surrogate's office 
of Tompkins county in book B, page 69, this slave girl is bequeathed 
to his widow, Eliza Lacy. Perhaps other slaves were held in Dryden, 
but we learu of no others, and slavery was abolished in the whole state 
of New York early in this period, July 4, 1827. 

A great change in the customs in regard to the use of alcoholic and 
spirituous liquors took place during this time. As we have seen, in 
1824 there were live distilleries of whiskey in operation in the town 
and we are told that everybody in those days made use of it. Intoxi- 
cating liquor of some kind was considered a necessity to be furnished 
at every raising of the frame of a new building, and no farmer could 
commence haying without providing a supply of strong drink for the 
use of himself and his help during this laborious operation in those 
times. Tradition says that for the raising of the frame of the Presby- 
terian church edifice in Dryden village, which occupied a week in the 
year 1819, a large amount of wdiiskey was supplied to the volunteer 
workmen. Whether, as is sometimes claimed by old i)eople, the whis- 
key of those days was so pure that it had none of the pernicious ef- 
fects wdiich attend the intemperate use of the modern article of the 
same name, is fortunately not within the province of history to deter- 

In revieAving the first fift}- years of Dryden's inhabitation we cannot 
but be impressed with the great progress and improvements which 
had been made, and doubtless the inhabitants of 1847 considered that 
the limit of progress in art and science had then almost been reached, 
and that but few improvements could be expected in the future. Yet 
at that time not a single mowing machine, reaper or family sewing 
machine had ever been brought into the township, the first of the for- 


nier, an Emory mower, having been brought into town by Elias W. 
Cady in 1850, and of the latter the first was a Grover & Baker sewing 
machine presented to Mrs. John E. McElheny by her brother, Vol- 
ne}^ Aldrich, of New York, in about 1857, the cost of which was one 
hundred thirty dollars. At that time people came from as far as West 
Dryden to see a machine which could " actuall}- sew," and that same 
machine is still in active use. 

Up to this time not a single bushel of mineral coal ("stone coal" as it 
was called in those days) had ever been introduced, the first, as we learn, 
being a barrel of blacksmith's coal brought in from Ithaca as an experi- 
ment by Obed Linclsey and Jim Patterson in 1850. Kerosene oil had 
then never been heard of, and it was some time before "stone coal" was 
used here for heating houses, the term "coal" then being universally ap- 
plied to charcoal, which was used much more commonly than now. 

W« believe we are safe in stating that up to this time not a single 
steam engine, either stationary or portable, had ever been introduced 
into the town except where the D. L. & W. R. E. now crosses the 
south-west corner. On that old road in 1840 it was attempted to use 
the first locomotive, but without success until it was sent back to 
Schenectady to be enlarged and improved. When returned it was so 
heavy that it wrecked one of the bridges and was abandoned until 
about 1847, when steam power first became a practical success on this 
old line of railroad. 

In concluding this chapter we quote two stanzas from a centennial 
poem written by a lady who was born in our adjoining county of Cort- 
land and who is a relative of the Hammond family in Dryden, as 
follf)ws : 

" Where women sat beside their looms, ' 

A hundred years ago, 
And wove in cloth the threads they spun 

Of linen, wool, and tow, 
Now great King Steam, in Avork shops large. 

Like some old giant elf. 
Gets up with angry puff and roar 

And does the work himself. 

" The poor, old stage coach lumbered on, 

A hundred years ago, 
O'er rugged roads and mountains steep. 

Its progress was but slow ; 
Now, through the mountain's heart, and o'er 

Deep chasms, yawning wide, 
With iron steeds, in palace cars. 

How fearlessly we ride. " — Luranali HammomJ. 




It is with a consciousness of our inability to do the subject justice 
that we undertake to record the histor}^ of Dryden in connection with 
the War of the Rebellion and the great events which immediately pre- 
ceded and followed it, occupying the third quarter of our Century 
Period, and extending from 1847 to 1872. It was no slight misunder- 
standing or sudden outburst of jealousy or auger which caused the en- 
lightened and usually sober-minded people of our country — North 
and South — to engage with all their might in a fierce and bloody con- 
flict lasting over four years, sacrificing hundreds of thousands of lives 
and expending billions of money, involving in its results the very ex- 
istence of the nation itself. No section of the country stood more loy- 
ally by the government, freely offering up its treasure and the lives of 
its best citizens for the support of the Union and the cause of freedom 
in this desperate struggle than did the town of Dryden, and none can 
claim a greater interest in, or credit for, the result. In the darkest 
days of the conflict, when the draft riots in New Y'ork city indicated 
weariness of the war, and the votes of the majorities in some sections 
seemed ready to declare the war a failure, our people continued to roll 
up increasing majorities at the polls for the war party, and with a firm 
determination to win, promptly responded to all calls for men and 
money. To the extent in which she participated in it, the history of 
this war is the history of Drj'den and will be so treated. 

In the light of liistor}' it is no uncertain fact that the cause of this 
war was negro slavery. It was not so fully recognized as such at the 
time, neither party being willing to admit it, the North claiming that 
they were simply fighting to preserve the Union, while the South con- 
tended that they were merely seeking their independeuce. History 
removes all sham pretenses from both sides and clearly reveals the 
fact that the subject of the contention was the perpetuation of slavery 
in the United States. 

As we have seen, slaves were held in Tompkins county at least 
as late as 1820, when the number was fifty. In the year 1799 the 
population of the state of New York included twenty thousand slaves, 
but in that year provision was made by the state government for their 
gradual emancipation, and on July 4, 1827, the last slave in the state 
was declared forever free. The colored people of the county cele- 
brated the event at that time at Ithaca. While all the Northern States 


voluntarily abolislied slavery within their limits early in the century, 
the institution flourished with increasing vigor in the South, and the 
antagonism between the two sections, engendered and maintained by 
the subject of the existence and entension of slavery, led slowly but 
surely to the terrible War of the Rebellion. 

One of the local circumstances which early served to call attention 
to and agitate this subject in our county was the trial of Robert H. 
Hyde, the father of the late R. H. S. Hyde, Esq., of the town of Caro- 
line, who was charged with taking to Virginia and selling a negro 
slave girl, Eliza, whom he had held here, in violation of the laws 
which provided for the gradual abolition of slavery in this state and 
prohibited the removal of slaves to other states to evade this law for 
their emancipation. In 1805 there had settled in Caroline a small 
colony from Virginia, including the Hyde and Speed families, who 
brought their slaves with them. Hyde was indicted and twice tried 
upon this charge at Ithaca in the year 1825. He escaped convic- 
tion, being ably defended by Ben Johnson, the most noted lawyer of 
the county in those years, but the affair served to stir up the rapidly 
growing anti-slavery sentiment in this county. While the South 
undertook to defend the institution of slavery as of divine origin, best 
calculated to subserve the highest interest of the colored race as well 
as that of their masters, the prevailing sentiment of the North was 
rapidly growing to condemn it as radically wrong. Still the mass of 
the Northern people were not prepared before the war to interfere with 
slavery in the old states where it had been established, but the ques- 
tion as to permitting it to be introduced and further extended in the 
new states and territories led to heated and bitter discussion and an 
increasing enmity between the two sections. The sentiment at the 
North was, however, divided on the subject, and there were some citi- 
zens, even in Dryden, who, up to the time of the war, openly defended 
negro slavery. The writer remembers that Mills Van Valkenburgh, 
a lawyer of Dryden and afterwards county judge, who taught the Dry- 
den village district school in about 1855, had such pronounced views 
upon the subject of tolerating slavery that some of the radical abo- 
litionists of the village, R. H. Delamater for one, refused to send their 
children to school under his instruction, although he was everywhere 
recognized as an excellent teacher and an exemplary citizen. 

When John Brown in 1859 made his raid into Virginia to free the 
slaves and create an insurrection among them in defiance of law, the 
masses of people in Dryden, as well as elsewhere in the North, con- 
demned it as a mad and foolish act. Still there was a growing seuti- 


meut ill sympathy with him, which was disposed to resist the fugitive 
slave law requiring the return of runaway slaves to their masters, 
maintaining that there was a law higher than the law of the land upon 
that subject, and the readiness Avith which the soldiers of the North 
afterwards took up the song : 

" John Brown's body lies a mouldering in the grave, 
But his soul goes marching on, " 

demonstrated that this sentiment was not then forgotten. 

The presidential campaign of 1856, in which Fremont and Dayton 
were defeated by James Buchanan, was an exciting time in Dryden, 
only exceeded by the subsequent election of Lincoln and Hamlin in 
1860. While there were never very many colored people residing in 
the town, the anti-slavery feeling became so intense and prevalent 
prior to aGd during the war, and the " Black Republican" majorities 
given in sympathy with the negroes grew to such an extent, that the 
town came to be known in those days as " Black Dryden." 



It is now easy to see in the light of history that in their efforts to 
preserve and perpetuate the institution of slavery, the Southern States 
by their attempted secession hastened its doom to speedy abolition. 
Slavery might have been one of the perplexing subjects of politics to- 
day had not the crisis been precipitated by the commencement of 
hostilities in April, 1861. 

It will be difficult for succeeding generations to realize with what 
anxiety and interest the investment and capture of Fort Sumpter and 
the subsequent progress of the war were watched by the people of 
Dryden in common with the inhabitants of all of the states of the 
North. No railroads or telegraph then served to deliver the war news 
within the town of Dryden. The only mail which was then received 
was brought by the daily stages from Ithaca and Cortland, meeting at 
Dryden village at noon. The New York daily papers of the morning 
would in this way reach Dr^^den the next day at noon, when the first 
news was obtained, unless, as was frequently the case, a messen- 
ger was dispatched by private contributors to Cortland, the nearest 
railroad and telegraph station in those times, to bring back the latest 
news late in the evening. Those who remember how anxiously the 


tidings of the war were watched for, will call to raind with what feel- 
iiii^s of disappointment the frequent stereot3^ped response was re- 
ceived, "All quiet on the Potomac." 

The capture of Fort Sumpter by the Confederates served immedi- 
ately to strengthen and unite the people of the North in their determi- 
nation to preserve the Union with or without slavery at first, but 
finally only with the complete abolition of that troublesome institu- 
tion. For that purpose a large part of the Democratic party, known 
as " War Democrats," united with the government in its effort to pre- 
serve the Union and with that determination stood by it until the 
termination of the war, while the remaining Democrats, who opposed 
the war, or professed to be indifferent on the subject, were openly 
denounced and branded as " Copper-heads." 

The first volunteers to go into the military service from our town 
joined some companies organized in Ithaca, which were afterwards 
united at New York with others to form the 32nd Infantry', with which 
they went to the front in June, 1861. Among these volunteers was 
Captain Sylvester H. Brown, who was killed at City Point, Va. This 
regiment enlisted for only two years, but saw severe service, partici- 
pating in the battles of West Point, Gaines Mills, White Oak Swamp, 
Malvern Hill, Crompton Gap, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. After 
their term of two years had expired many of the survivors re-enlisted 
in other regiments. In the fall and winter of that year the 76th regi- 
ment was organized, of which companies F. and C. were largeW re- 
cruited from the town of Dryden. This organization had an unfor- 
tunate beginning, growing out of a personal cjuarrel between Col. 
Green and one of his subordinate officers, resulting in the shooting 
and wounding of the latter, while they were encamped at Cortland. 
Afterwards the 76th, under Col. Wainwright, did valiant service and 
took part in the battles of Rappahannock Station, Warrenton, Gaines- 
ville, Second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, LTpperville, Fred- 
ericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Mine Run. 

The early campaigns of the Union forces in Virginia were not suc- 
cessful. Such disasters as the battle of Bull Run served to convince 
the people of the North that greater efforts must be made. War 
meetings were held in all parts of the count}', attended with bands of 
music and patriotic speakers. At these meetings liberal contributions 
were made for the aid of the families of sucli as should go to tlie front. 
A senatorial war committee was appointed, of which our late towns- 
man, Jeremiah W. Dwight, was the member from this county, and a 
local town committee was selected, consisting of Luther Griswold, 


Smith Robertson, Charles Giveiis, Thomas J. McElheny, and W. W. 

In the summer of 1862 the 109th regiment was organized, Company 
F. being largely made up of Dryden volunteers. It was mustered into 
service Aug. 28, 1862, but was kept on guard duty for the first year 
and more. Its first fight was in the terrible battle of the Wilderness 
when more than one hundred of its men were left upon the field of 
battle. Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor and the battles before Petersburg 
followed in quick succession, in all of which this regiment made a gal- 
lant record, but suftered severely, so that when they came to be mus- 
tered out of the service in June, 1865, there were only two hundred 
and fifty men left of the tAvelve hundred which first went into the Wil- 

In October, 1862, the 143d regiment, of which one company was made 
up mostly of Dryden men under Capt. Harrison Marvin, was mus- 
tered into service. Although this regiment did not see such severe 
service it had an honorable record and its roll of honor bore the fol- 
lowing inscriptions : Nansemond, Wauhatchie, Lookout Mountain, 
Chattanooga, Knoxville, Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, Culpep- 
per Farm, Peach Tree Ridge, Atlanta and Savannah. 

Capt. Geo. L. Truesdell with quite a number of other Dryden men 
joined earl3' in 1864 the 15th New York Cavarly, which was organized 
from Aug 8, 1863, to January 14th, 1864, to serve for three years. 
Nine companies were recruited at Syracuse, one at Elmira, one at Cav- 
alry Depot, Washington, D. C, and one in the state of New York at 
large. It was consolidated with the Sixth New York Cavalry June 
17th, 1865, and the consolidated force designated the Second Provis- 
ional New York Cavalry. Col. Robert M. Richardson resigned Jan. 
19, 1865, leaving in command Col. John J. Coppinger. The regiment 
lost by death during its service in killed during action, three oflicers 
and eighteen men; of wounds received in action, nineteen men; of dis- 
ease and other causes, four ofiicers and 129 men ; a grand total of one 
hundred seventy men. It was at Hillsboro, Upperville, Franklin, 
Romney, New Market, Front Royal, Newton, Mount Jackson, Pied- 
mont, Stanton, Waynesboro, Lexington, New London, Diamond Hill, 
Lynchburg, Snicker's Gap, Ashby's Gap, Winchester, Green Spring,, 
and the Appomattox campaign. 

The early enlistments were all volunteers aided and encouraged at 
first by liberal provisions for the families of those who should enlist, 
and afterwards by large bounties in addition, to the soldier himself. 
Only one draft was made in this town, which was executed in July, 


1868, accordinoj to the terms of which the drafted man himself coukl 
hire a substitute to go in his place or, by paying three hundred dol- 
lars, the government would provide the substitute, A second and 
third draft was ordered but the supervisors of the county here came to 
the rescue and hired, at the expense of the county, enough non-resi- 
dent soldiers to make up, with those who had volunteered, the full 
quota of the towns of Tompkins county. 

We regret that we are not able to make our military record more 
complete, having given only a brief reference to the companies which 
were made up almost wholly of Dry den men. Many others were scat- 
tered through different regiments and in all branches of the service, 
and we supplement this brief record by the following chapter, which 
aims to give a complete list of the Dryden soldiers, specifying those 
who died or were severely wounded in the service. 



The preparation of this chapter has involved no small amount of la- 
bor, and great care has been taken to make it correct and complete. 
Still there are, doubtless, some errors and omissions ; but the follow- 
ing data arranged in tabular form will, it is hoped, at least serve as a 
basis from which a more perfect record shall be made at some time in 
the future. If happily "grim visaged war" shall never again make its 
imperative demands upon the town of Dryden, its inhabitants of the 
rising and future generations will never fully realize what it is to have 
the lives of the father, brother and sons of the people of the township 
exposed to the hazards of camp and of battle and sacrificed in the ser- 
vice of their country. 

Thomas J. McElheny, one of the war committee of Dr3^den who 
gave his time very fully in those years to the details of filling the quo- 
tas of soldiers required by the government from this town, relates 
with pardonable pride the experiences which he had in performing his 
arduous duties in these matters and bears witness to the liberality and 
patriotism manifested by the people in sustaining his efibrts. 

No attempt is made in this chapter to complete the record of non- 
resident volunteers who were induced by the liberal bounties ofierred 
by the town of Dryden to help to fill out her quota and when Dryden 
men had removed to other places before their enlistment their names 
will not be likely to be found in the following table : 


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While the period of the war involved great loss of life and property 
to the North as well as to the South, it was, to our section of the 
country, in some respects a time of unusual prosperity. The money 
which was freely paid out by the provernment for services and supplies 
came into ready circulation among the people, and the prices of every- 
thing went up to high figures, so that those people who remained at 
home and formed the producing class were able to secure enormous 
prices for their products. Wheat brought $2.50 per bushel ; wool one 
dollar per pound ; while butter was sold for sixty cents and at some 
times even more than that per pound. Heal estate, as well as other 
property, was booming, and everybody holding property of any kind 
was agreeably surprised upon finding himself richer than he had 
previously supposed himself to be. This increase in wealth was 
in a measure imaginary, and to some extent, at least, due to a depre- 
ciated currency by which the value of things was then estimated. 
When the currency was brought up to a par value with gold, some 
time after the close of the war, the delusion began to be dispelled, and 
the value of property has ever since then seemed to depreciate. 

Still there were people during the war, as there always have been 
and always will be, who were continually complaining of the hard 
times, and suggesting that if ever the war should cease then they 
might accomplish something, while those who then went to work and 
made their efforts productive, accumulated property more rapidly than 
it was possible to do in the same length of time either before or since 
that period. 

The apparent prosperity which then prevailed m business matters 
stimulated local enterprises, and the first railroad to furnish means of 
transportation within the town, at first known as the Southern Central, 
was opened for travel between Owego and Auburn in the year 1869. 
Such a project had long been dreamed of and hoped for by the people 
of the town, and we find on an old map of Tompkins county published 
in 1838, a copy of which is in the possession of Dr. Mary Briggs of 
Dryden village, a railway projected from Ithaca to Auburn by way 
of Etna and Freeville, over almost the same route now occupied by 
the branches of the Lehigh Yalley. The old Ithaca and Cortland 
railroad, known in those days as the "Shoo Fly," was opened as 
far as Cortland running diagonally through the centre of the town of 


Dryden, in 1871. A great effort was made by and in behalf of Dryden 
people, especially those living in and about Dryden village, to secure 
the constructtion of the Southern Central. Many other towns along 
the proposed line were bonded to furnish means with which to con- 
struct it, but the town of Dryden was never obligated in that way. 
The citizens, however, believed that only by very liberal subscriptions 
to the stock of the company could the road be secured, and a sub- 
scription amounting to nearly two hundred thousand dollas was ob- 
tained from the people, only about one half of which materialized. 
Many under the strong intiiience brought to bear upon them and out 
of a sense of duty to the public interests of the town, agreed to take 
more stock than they afterwards felt able to pay for, and subsequent 
developments indicated that the road would have been finally built 
without so great a sacrifice on the part of the people. Those towns, 
however, which bonded themselves fared the worst, for their bonds 
were paid when times were harder and property had greatly depreci- 
ated in value. The Midland Railroad Company projected a road in 
this period from Freeville to Auburn by way of West Dryden and Lan- 
sing, which was not completed until 1880, and after being operated for 
about ten years was absorbed by the Lehigh Valley Company and 
discontinued. The telegraph accompanied the railroads, or in the case 
of the Southern Central preceded it by a few years. /Ihus the 
town from being wholly destitute of railroad privileges up to 1869, has 
ever since been traversed by at least two lines of railroad, crossing 
each other at nearly right angles near the centre of the township, 
providing five railroad and telegraph stations within its borders. 

Near the end of this period, and about the year 1870, attention was 
called to tlie fact that Dryden was holding rather more than her full 
share (in fact nearly all; of the political honors of the county. It so 
happened at that time that Hon. Richard Marvin, as Supreme Court 
Justice, then residing in Chautauqua county but brought up as a Dry- 
den boy, was assigned to hold a term of Supreme Court at Ithaca. 
Mills Van Valkenburg was then serving as county judge and surrogate, 
elected from Dryden ; Horace L. Root was serving as sheriff, as well 
as Thomas J. McElheny as county clerk, both elected from Dryden ; 
while Benjamin F. Squires, the court crier had formerly been a Dry- 
den merchant. With Milo Goodrich, of Dryden, then a member of 
congress from this district and a prominent figure at the bar of that 
court it was conceded that for a country town Dryden then had a 
-claim upon at least her full share of the offices of that court and of the 




By applying the term "maturity" to this present time, the hist 
quarter of the Century Period of our history, we do not intend to 
imply that it is a time when perfection has been reached, or that 
further developments of a prop;ressive nature may not be expected in 
the future histor}' of our town. It is regarded by us as mature only 
as we view it from the stand])oint of the present as compared with the 
primitive conditions of the past, while to those who may review it one 
hundred years hence, the present time will doubtless appear, in some 
respects at least, as a period of rude development. This period will 
be treated of here very briefly, as it is not yet ripe as a subject for 
history, and it is rather to give those who shall come after us and who 
may chance to peruse our efibrts, some idea as to how our times ap- 
pear to us to-day than for any other purjDose that we complete our gen- 
eral history of the town of Dryden with this chapter. 

There are some few respects in which great progress has been made 
during the past hundred years where it would seem that but little im- 
provement need be expected or asked for in the future. One of them 
is in the matter of highway bridges, of which our town is required to 
maintain many, although none of extraordinary dimensions. In the 
Pioneer Period it is presumed that there were no bridges of any ac- 
count, the inhabitants then being required to ford the streams in sum- 
mer and cross them on the ice in winter. In the Second Period pole 
bridges were constructed, rude affairs — many of which were carried 
away with every spring flood. These were replaced in the War Per- 
iod with comparatively substantial structures of wood, of the truss 
pattern, but they were subject to decay, the life of such a bridge, 
however well constructed and protected, being less than twenty A'ears. 
But now all or very nearly all of them have been rejilaced during 
the past twenty -five years by substantial iron structures, supplied by 
the town at considerable expense, placed upon solid piers of masonry 
or iron piles, in such a manner that they seem to be almost inde- 
structible and imperishable. 

Another respect in which great progress has been made and ap- 
parently the limit of perfection almost reached is in the matter of 
educational advantages. Common school education for the young is 
now not only free, but in a measure compulsory, and there can be but 
little hope for the children of to-day who do not readih' improve the 


superior advantages now afforded them by our schools. If we com- 
pare the school buildings of to-day with those of twenty-live years 
ago, and then again with those of fifty and seventy-five years ago, we 
shall be impressed with the degree of comfort and elegance which our 
own times afford in comparison. 

The dwelling houses and farm buildings of the present time are not 
to be compared with the rude habitations of fifty and seventy-five 
years ago. It was not then considered necessary to winter cattle 
under cover except in the worst storms, and then the poorest shed 
was supposed to furnish ample protection. When the country was 
mostly covered with forests the severity of winter was not felt by man 
or beast as it is now, and we are told that in the Pioneer Period snow 
drifts were unknown. Now the cattle barn of the Dryden farmer is 
usually larger and often more expensive than the house in which he 
lives, which is itself a palace in points of convenience and elegance as 
compared with the homes of his ancestors. 

The methods of dairy farming as practiced in the town have met 
with a wonderful change, since fifty years ago. Then the milk was all 
made up into butter and cheese at home, while now all that which is 
not consumed in fattening calves for the city markets is, in most local- 
ities, taken to the railroad stations to be shipped on the milk train, or 
to the nearest of the cheese or butter factories which are distributed 
throughout the township. 

We should not pass over the present time without mentioning the 
now omnipresent "bicv'cle," which within the past twenty-five years 
has developed from its first appearance as the old "velocipede" and 
within the past few years has come into very general use as a means of 
pleasure and convenience even in the country. It promises at least to 
compel the farmers to build and maintain better roads, which will re- 
sult greatly to their own advantage and profit in the end. 

In one respect there is some reason to complain of our times and 
that is in regard to the depreciation in the market value of real estate 
within the past twenty-five 3'ears. In the Pioneer Period, as we have 
seen, land was purchased for a few dollars per acre. For the first sev- 
enty-five years and until about the close of the War Period the value 
of real estate had a steady and constant upward tendency, until good 
farms in the town were readilj^ sold at from sixty to one hundred dol- 
lars per acre. The young farmer who had invested in land and lived 
daring that time, as old age came on often discovered tliat his in- 
creased wealth was as much due to the nattiral increase in the value of 
his farm as to the crops which he had raised and sold off from it, while 


the farmer of to-day, who invested bis resources in land twenty-five 
years aj^o, finds to his sorrow that the depreciation in the market val- 
ue of his farm often counterbalances the labor and eftbrts of a lifetime 
expended upon it. The actual market value of the real estate of the 
town during that time, in spite of improved buildings, has depreciated 
nearly, if not quite, one half. From this tendency of the times, which 
was unforseen and unexpected, many, and especially those who had in- 
vested beyond their means in real estate, have suffered severely ; but 
in other respects these times are propitious. It is the abundance and 
cheapness of the necessities of life which now surround us, and not 
their scarcity as it was in the year 1816. In spite of this plenteous 
supply of its various products, labor itself is in good demand and well 
paid, and at no time, it is safe to say, within the century would the 
same amount of well directed labor purchase so much good common 
food or clothing as at present. The very prosperous times which have 
immediately preceded the present have unfortunately stimulated ex- 
travagance, and to this more than to any other cause is due the com- 
plaint of hard times so commonly heard. 

As an illustration of this the writer remembers that about fift}^ years 
ago old Esquire Tanner used to keep in his postoffice at Dryden vil- 
lage, in two small glass jars with tin covers, and four square red boxes 
with sliding glass fronts, the stock of sugar candy which supplied the 
children of the village and surrounding country, more numerous then 
tlian now. One jar contained lemon drops — thirteen for a penny ; an- 
other Jackson balls, at a cent apiece ; and the four others contained 
stick candy of different kinds. His total sales of that commodity could 
not have exceeded twenty-five dollars per annum. Now the merchants 
tell us that the retail trade in candy in Dryden village exceeds one 
thousand dollars i:»er annum, and is more than equalled by the sale of 
southern grown fruit, which fifty years ago was unknown to us. Not 
only is extravagance exhibited in such kinds of food, much of which 
is worse than useless, but so extravagant have people become in these 
" hard times" in the matter of superfluous clothing throughout the 
country, that during the past winter the Legislature of the great State 
of New York has in its wisdom enacted a law requiring the ladies who 
insist upon displaying such a profusion of flowers, ribbons and feath- 
ers in their head-gear as to eclipse the view of everything else, to re- 
move their hats when attending entertainments, and at the same time 
we believe an amendment was offered but lost limiting the number of 
yards of cloth which might be wasted by the ladies in making up their 
puffed sleeves. 


But in spite of the so-called hard times, useless extravagance and 
the depreciation in the value of real estate, there are many respects in 
which marked improvement has been made throughout the country 
with prospects of still greater advancement. 

We read of many of the earlier settlers who lost the land which the}' 
had under many hardships and with much difficulty paid for, without 
any fault of their own, through defective and fraudulent titles, which 
were then very common. Now the system of recorded laud titles is so 
perfect that very seldom does any such loss occur, and even then it re- 
sults from gross carelessness. 

We learn that in early times there was a great deal of local litiga- 
tion, and that a number of pettifogging lawyers were kept busy in 
every hamlet of the township settling the disputes of neighbors by 
contested law-suits in Justice's Court over horse trades, dog fights, 
and other foolish matters. This state of things has almost entirely 

We are told by old people that in those "good old times" there was 
never a town meeting held without more or less fighting being wit- 
nessed. These were not wrestling contests or boxing matches, but 
real bloody, brutal fights, in which the "bullies" of the town exhibited 
their powers of inflicting and enduring blows to the crowd of their as- 
sembled townsmen. Now happily such an exhibition would not be 
tolerated at our town meetings or elsewhere, and the most noted of 
pugilists are obliged to seek a refuge as far away as New Orleans or 
Nevada in which to exhibit themselves in their contests. 

It is said that in the earl}' days of Dryden the Lacy and Knapp 
families were noted for their pugilistic contests with each other in 
dead earnest. Think of the family from which our very exemplary 
late lamented John C. Lacy descended, being noted for its brutal fight- 
ing qualities, frequently exhibited at town meetings, and then tell us 
whetlier the times and the manners have not greatly improved during 
the century. 



We now return from our general survey of the whole town to take 
up each separate localit}^ giving to each its own particular local his- 
tory, commencing with Dryden village, where, as we have seen, the first 
settlement was made. There were then no corporate limits and we 


shall include with the village iu these times all of the events and fam- 
ilies naturally connected with it without regard to definite boundaries 

After the settlement of the Amos Sweet faniil}^ on Lot No. 39, as we 
have seen, in 1797, the next to locate upon the site of Dryden village 
appears to have been Dr. Nathaniel Sheldon, who was the first physi- 
cian of the town and who built the first frame house on the corner 
now occu})ied by the brick store of D. T. Wheeler & Co. Ruloff Whit- 
ney, who, as we have seen, assisted Col. Ho|)kins, of Homer, to l>uil(l 
the first saw-mill of the town on Fall Creek near Willow Glen in 1800, 
soon after had a saw-mill of his own where the Dryden Woolen Mill 
now stands, but the exact dates of these events cannot be given. Ser- 
ren H. Jagger, Sr., built one of the first frame houses on tiie premises 
since owned by D. J. Baker, where his oldest daughter, Betsey, was 
born in 1805, who afterwards became the second wife of John South- 
worth, and the grandmother or great-grandmother of nearly all of his 
living descendants. Mr. Jagger was a tanner and currier by trade and 
then operated a small tannery in the rear of his residence. The five 
Lacy brothers located in and ab<n;t Drydeu village in 1801, and the 
Seth Wheeler family from New Hampshire and the Edward Griswold 
family from Connecticut in 1802, as the former accounts have it ; but 
;3ome investigation leads us to believe that it was about two years later. 

The first postoflice in the town and the only one for some time after, 
was established at Dryden village, as shown by the department rec- 
ords at Washington, October 1, 1811, with Jonathan Stout as post- 
master. He was, however, succeeded on July, 1812, by Parley Whit- 
more, who retained the office for a long time. 

The most vivid and reliable pen picture which we can give of Dry- 
den village in this period is afforded by the dercription of the late 
John C. Lacy, furnished for publication by him on his eightieth birth- 
day, October 21, 1888, and from which we c^uote as follows : 

" Mr. Editor — Having some recollection of the situation of things 
in this village and vicinity seventy or more years age, and as this is 
the eightieth anniversary of my birth and residence here, I thought I 
could in no better way notice the event, than to state briefly some of 
my recollections of these times, to wit : 

"There were but two roads in the village, and crossing at right 
angles, forming the four corners as now. They were rough and 
crooked, the one running north and south was difficult of travel and 
was noted for the frecjuency in which teamsters became mired with 
their loads of lumber and produce bound for the Homer and Syracuse 


markets and returning with salt, which sokl at five dollars per barrel. 
A brook ran across the east and west road near D. J. Baker's (now 
Henry Thomas's) over which was a pole bridge. A brancli of Virgil 
Creek crossed the road near the late Wm. West's (now D. T. Wheel- 
er's) residence, over which was a bridge, under whicli I have caught 
fish ; where Mr. Rockwell's factory (the Woolen Mill) now stands was 
a saw-mill owned b}' a man by the name of Whitney, and after- 
wards by Jason Ellis. Near this mill was a little shop where a ujan 
by the name of Ballard made nails by hand, which he sold at eighteen 
pence per pound. Where Mill street now is there was nothing but a 
foot-path, and the crossing of the streams was over trees that had 
fallen across them. The highway then ran on the west side of Whit- 
ney's pond (or Rockwell's) and entered the village road where Mr. 
Rockwell's wool house now is. On this road was a log house where 
different families had lived for several years before the road was dis- 
continued, to wit : R. Whitney, Joseph Thomas, and Stephen B. 
Lounsberry. James, Union, Pleasant, Lewis, George, Rochester, 
Marsh, and Elm streets were either in the state of nature or under 
cultivation by the farmer. The village was small, the houses small, 
few and scattering ; one small tavern where the Blodgett House stood, 
one store where C. Green's tailor shop is, one school house near H. 
Cliff's residence gotten up by private subscription, in shares — some 
took more and some less. (Benjamin Lacy had about one-fourth of 
the stock.) For a sample of the houses, I would cite you to the house 
on Rochester street, of which unknown miscreants made a bonfire on 
the Fourth of July not long since. This house, in its best days, stood 
where E. Rockwell now resides. With this exception there were no 
houses between J. Cole's and the creek. The other side of the road 
Avas equally vacant of buildings from D. J. Baker's down to the cieek. 
Where Dr. Montgomery's office now stands there was a log distillery 
in full blast, and on the site of the Geo. Hill block was a small cab- 
inet sho]3. The best house was on the Moore lot, built and owned 
by Dr. John W. Phillips, — since having been moved and now owned 
by John McKeon. The four corners of the village, comprising six 
rods square each, were not then built upon, but remained a public 
green, as was intended by the several donors who gave them to the 
good people of the town for that purpose. 

" Air was in a rude state — the farms but partially cleared, stumps, 
straggling and girdled trees all over, swamps not drained. The peo- 
ple worked and suffered many privations and hardships, unaided by 
modern labor-saving machines ; the work of both men and women 


was (lone by hand — the baying, witb tbe scytbe, tbe barvesting, witb 
tbe sickle and tbe grain cradle, and tbe tbresbing witb tbe flail. The 
wearing apparel was spun and woven by the women oi] tbe band 
wheels, and on tbe band looms. This, in addition to their household 
work, made it doubh* hard for them. When they rode out they either 
rode on horseback or in lumber wagons and sleds, but oftener went on 
foot ; if to parties or to get married, all tbe same. No fine carriages 
or railroad coaches, no mowing machines, no reapers, horse pitch- 
forks, sulky rakes or sulky plows, no threshing machines, no Woolen 
Factory, no meeting houses, no grist-mill or tannery, no newspaper, no 
Dryden Springs Place. Tbe mineral springs were discovered by tbe 
Lacy brothers while digging and prospecting for salt in 1820-21. No. 
free school. The boy that went to school a few days in the year fur- 
nished his own wood and paid his own tuition. No two-cent postage 
on letters ; a letter to a friend five hundred miles away required eight- 
een pence postage, and for friends to separate sucli a distance was 
almost equal to separating forever ; for tbe parties bad but little time 
to write and still less money to pay the heavy ])ostage and telephon- 
ing and telegraphing were not then thought of, so they would lose 
track of one another altogether. Mone}' was hardly thought of in dec], 
except to pay taxes, tbe payment of w^liicb was one of tbe most im- 
portant matters that annually perplexed and disturbed the people, 
money was so bard to be got. Barter was tbe order of the times. A 
bushel of corn was tbe price of a common laborer's day's work, and a 
bushel of wheat the mechanic's. 

" Tbe cold seasons of 1818, '19 were times that tried tbe men's souls. 
Corn was entirely cut off by the frosts, wheat and other products were 
scarce and dear, eighteen to twenty shillings per bushel for wheat, lit- 
tle or no money to buy witb. If it were better in older and larger 
places tbe transportation of produce was so difficult and expensive it 
did them no good. This is the time when Capt. Geo. Robertson, then 
a well-known citizen of another part of the town, refused to sell 
his grain to men who bad money, but sold it to tliose who had no 
money, on the ground that tliose who had could get it somewhere else, 
(in Lansing.) This is the time one of my neighbor's boys told me 
be " lived three days on two cold potatoes, and nothing under Hea- 
vens else, " and another neighbor's little girl told me she had bad 
nothing to eat for two days and was as weak as a little frog. This 
was a time, too, when a dollar to a man was more than a pound ster- 
ling would be to-day. The snows and frosts of those years have nev- 
er since been equalled here for severity. " 


We think that Mr. Lacy was mistaken as to the years of the famine, 
which were 1816,'17 instead of 1818, '19. 

As corroboration of the six rods square from each of the four cor- 
ners intended as a public common referred to by Mr. Lacy, we find 
on the county records a deed bearing date May 18, 1812, exeecuted by 
" Abram Griswold, Nathan Goddard, John Taylor, and Joshua Holt, 
all of Dryden, Cayuga Co., " to " The Good People of the town of Dry- 
den, " purporting to convey six rods square from each corner, consti- 
tuting 144 square rods, nearly an acre, in the exact center of the vil- 
lage. As a matter of law " The Good People of the Town" constituted 
a grantee too indefinite to hold the property, and each corner was 
afterward appropriated for private use, except the M. E. church corner, 
which was afterward conveyed with other premises to the Presbyte- 
rian society subject to the rights granted to " The Good Peojile " as 

In this period there was an earnest rivalry between this settlement 
and Willow Glen as to which should become the metropolis of the 
town, and from the active part which Edward Griswold, Sr., took in 
it, giving a blacksmith forty acres of land off from his lot in order to 
induce him to locate here, and from his successful efforts through his 
son Abram to establish the Presbyterian church with other enterpris- 
es here, as well as the gift, through his son, of the corner to "The 
Good People " and the knoll to the east for a cemetery, we believe he 
is entitled to be regarded as the " Father " of the village as Captain 
Robertson was of the town. In addition to the description b}' Mr. 
Lacy of the village in the early times, we can say that in the year 
1816 Hooker Ballard kept the tavern, Joshua Holt had a grocery 
store, and afterwards manufactured chairs at the old oil mill on South 
street. Parley Whitmore kept a store as well as the })ostoffice near 
where the M. E. church noAV stands. James H. Hurd and Timothy 
Stowe were calnnet makers. Thomas L. Bishop had a saw-mill west 
of the village ; Jesse B. Bartholomew was a distiller on Main street ; 
and Ebenezer Tuttle was a carpenter and builder. Of the farmers, 
Seth Wheeler, Edward Griswold and Selden Marvin lived north of 
the village ; David Foote, Abram Griswold, Nathan Goddard and Ne- 
hemiah Tucker east ; Michael Thomas, Daniel and Thomas Lacy and 
James Bowlby south ; and Benjamin and Richard Lacy west. Jedidi- 
ah Phelps was a brick maker, and John Phillips as well as John Tay- 
lor and Nathaniel Shelden were the physicians. 

As Mr. Lac3' remarks there were no streets then in Dryden village 
except the two main roads crossing at right angles and forming the 


four corners, and the place, for tlie want of another name, was for a 
long time called " Dryden Corners. " 



It is recognized that this chapter and other similar memoranda 
of the pioneer families is incomplete, there being others which de- 
serve a place among the pioneers of Dryden village if we only could 
have obtained the material out of which to have written their early 

Baker, David J., was born at Great Bend, Pa., March 3, 1795, but 
when he was two months old his father's family moved to Homer, N. 
Y., the mother and child being conveyed from one place to the other 
in a canoe on the Tioughnioga River, there being no roads at that 
time for transportation. There he lived until eighteen years of age, 
when he went to Aurora, and a few years later ( 181G) he came to Dry- 
den. Here he soon built a house on the premises now owned by his 
son Albert and his daughter, Mrs. Thomas,- where he continued to 
live until his recent death at the age of ninety-five years. On Nov. 10, 
1823, he married Samantha, daughter of Hooker Ballard, whose hotel 
at that time was located just west of where the stone block has since 
been built. Mr. and Mrs. Baker occupied the same house on Main 
street in Dryden village for nearl}^ seventy years and he was a member 
of the Masonic order for nearly seventy-five years, being at his death 
the oldest Mason in the state. In about 1832, he organized a fine cav- 
alry company in the old state militia, of which he was captain, and he 
afterwards held the rank of major. His death occurred January 11, 
1890, his wife surviving him less than two years. Of their five chil- 
dren all survive except their daughter Samantha, who died recent- 
ly, and all of the remainder are residents of Diyden village except 
Mrs. Helen A. Frost, of Wheatland, Iowa. 

Mr. and Mrs. Baker are among the few residents of Dryden who, by 
their long and useful lives, were able to connect the Pioneer Period 
with the present time. Both were too well known to the present gen- 
eration to require any extended history to be given here. They were 
very exemplary citizens in their domestic as well as in their social and 
public relations, she being always a devoted, industrious and dignified 
wife and mother as well as a leading and active member of the M. E. 
church, and he being a prominent, public s])irited and prosperous 
business man. 


BowLBY, James, came with other early settlers between 1805 and 
1810 antl located upon two hundred eight acres where Martin E. Tripp 
now resides south of the village. Of his nine children all early went 
west or to Bath, N. Y., where some of them still reside, except Nancy 
A., wife of Henry H. Ferguson, who still resides here in the town 
where she was born in 1816. She recollects man}^ interesting inci- 
dents of the old times. Her father was drafted here in the War of 
1812 and her mother to help raise money to hire a substitute to go in 
his place sold her wedding dress, the most valuable article of clothing 
Avliich she had. Mrs. Ferguson recollects the old log distillery in Dry- 
den village referred to by Mr. Lacy, and says that at one time when 
her father emptied out the barrel to be taken to the distillery to be 
refilled, he threw out some cherries which had been kept in the liquor 
to give it tlavor, and that she and the other small childien after 
eating some of the fruit which was well preserved and very nice, felt 
a very peculiar sensation from the effects of .which for a time they 
could not see, and they did not know what was the matter of them. 
l*erhaps those who have had some similar experiences with the prod- 
uots of the modern " still" can appreciate what was the trouble. 
When she was about twenty years of age her father and mother and 
the rest of his family moved to Bath where he died. 

BuRCH, John, Sr., settled in Dry den as early as 1810, coming here 
from Lewis count}-, but originally from Connecticut. Soon after lo- 
cating in Dryden he married Betsey Topping, and their oldest son, 
John, who is the ancestor of the members of the Burch family now 
living in Dryden, was born here in 1811. In 1812 John Burch, Sr., 
joined the army and served near Sackett's Harbor. He was after- 
wards a i^ensioner by reason of that service and died in Dryden al)0ut 
twenty years ago. His son, John, Jr., was a captain of militia and is 
also dead. His daughter Nancy, widow of Thomas Lormor, is still 
living in Dryden, and his daughters, Martha Burch and Mary Win- 
ship, are living at Newark Valle}^ N. Y. Many of his descendants are 
living in the West. 

Griswold, Captain Edward, is the ancestor of a now numerous Dry- 
den family. He was early a sea ca])tain residing at Killingworth, 
Connecticut. Having served in the War of the lievolution, his wife, 
Asenatli (Hurd), prevailed upon him, after i^eace Avas declared, to 
abandon his sea-faring life and cast his fortunes in the undeveloped 
West, which then included a large part of New York state. They first 
settled in Fairfield, Herkimer county, from which so many Dr3den 
pioneers came, where they sojourned several j-ears and where their 


younger cliildreu were born. They are said to have come to Dryden 
in ISO'i. The deed to Edward Griswold of Lot 39, including the 
northeast quarter of Dryden viUage, is dated October 16, 1805, con- 
veying six hundred forty acres for a consideration of $2,250.00. He 
must have been a man of considerable means for those days and was 
prosperous. He was short and thick-set in his make-up and honor- 
able and upright in his character. There is no evidence that he ever 
built a log cabin, but he earl}^ constructed near the center of his lot 
the little red house, not far from where the Dryden village reservoir 
is now located, in which he lived. He died at the age of 84, his wife 
surviving him to the age of 95. 

Their children were : Abram, who married Margaret Givens, leav- 
ing many descendants, among whom are A. G. Hunter and Mrs. La- 
fayette Sweetland, both of Dryden ; Polly, who married Timothy 
Stowe, having no descendants ; Asenath, who married William Hoag- 
land, leaving a number of descendants ; Nancy, who married George 
Carr, and left descendants all now non-residents; Charles, who married 
Hannah Tanner, leaving many descendants including the late Leon- 
ard and Luther Griswold ; Jerusha, who married Daniel Bartholomew^ 
and after his death, Jesse Topping, leaving descendants of whom 
one is our present Daniel Bartholomew ; Edward, who married Polly 
Tyler, leaving numerous descendants, mostly non-residents ; and Na- 
than, who married Patience Lindsey, and left descendants, among 
whom are Benjamin Griswold and Mrs. Chester Carmer, of Dryden. 

HuRD, James H., migrated from Killing-worth, Conn., to Seneca 
county, N. Y., in the year 1800, and a few years later he moved to 
Dryden, where he built, in the year 1817, what is still known as the 
Hurd house, now occupied by Benjamin Griswold on East Main street. 
He was a cabinet maker and for many years the undertaker of Dry- 
den, like all undertakers of those days, manufacturing usually to or- 
der in his own shop as well as trimming, staining and varnishing the 
coffins which he sold. They were usually made of pine, the price of 
such an article Vieing from five to nine dollars, some undertakers 
charging one dollar per foot for the box, according to its length. Be- 
ing hastily made after the death of the person for whom they were 
designed they were freshly varnished and thus the odor of varnish 
was always associated with the grief of the mourners at funerals of 
the olden times. Among the children of Mr. Hurd were Denison, the 
father of Mrs. J. H. Pratt, late of Dryden but now deceased ; Clemen- 
tine, the wife of Jesse Givens, and Laura, the only child surviving, 
who is the wife of Benjamin Griswold. James street was laid out 


througli some of the land of Mr. Hurd and was named from him. He 
was at one time captain of a Dryden company of lij>ht infantry and 
was for a long time a man of prominence in the town. 

Jagger, Serren Halsey, was one of the very early settlers, coming 
to Dryden about the year 1800 from " between the lakes, " probabl}^ 
from Ovid. It is claimed that he built one of the first frame dwellings 
in Dryden village, located on the lot between the present residences 
of Albert J. Baker and Henry Thomas. Here his oldest daughter, 
Betsey, who became the second wife of John Southworth, was born in 
1805. He was a tanner and currier as well as a shoemaker and had 
a small tannery back of his residence where he employed at least one 
man, by the name of John Welch. This must have been one of the 
earliest mechanical industries instituted at Dryden Corners. Another 
daughter, Mrs. Prudence Stevens, now of New Woodstock, N. Y., was 
born here in 1816, and is one of the oldest survivors of those who were 
born in Dryden now living. She joined the Presbyterian church at 
Dryden in 1835. Another younger daughter is Mrs. Harriet Shep- 
ard, of Homer, N. Y. There were two sous, Serren H., Jr., and Mat- 
thew, both of whom have died leaving families. 

Lacy, John C. (See special biography.) 

Larabee, Elias, was one of the original lot owners, who drew by 
ballot Lot No. 49 of Dryden, including what is now the southeast 
quarter of Dryden village. He served in the fourth regiment of New 
York Continental troops and drew a pension of forty-eight dollars per 
annum under the act of 1818. In September, 1825, he was indicted 
for the murder of Amasa Barnes and after trial in December following 
was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to fourteen years in the 
State Prison. This incident grew out of his shooting at some persons 
who were hanging about his house at night, and in the darkness he 
fatally wounded Barnes, who was a friend of his. This, so far as we 
know, was the only act of homicide ever committed in Dryden village, 
and occurred on the Goodwin lot just east of the Kennedy bridge. 
Shortly afterwards in view of the circumstances and his services as a 
soldier, Larabee received a pardon, after which he lived in Dryden 
village and on the Carty place near the Lake, until near 1850, when 
he died, over eighty years of age. The Corrington and Lawson fami- 
lies are descendants of his. 

Marvin, Selden, in the winter of 1808-9 moved, himself, wife (Char- 
lotte Pratt Marvin, formerly of Saybrook, Ct.), and five children, from 
Fairfield, Herkimer county, N. Y., on a sled — tradition says an ox 
sled — to Dryden, and settled on the hundred acres since known as the 



Albright farm north of the village. Some six or eight acres had been 
chopped over and parti}' cleared before his arrival. He was hospita- 
bly received and entertained by Mr. and -Mrs. Barclay, who lived in a 
log house across the road and a little south. The Barclays were then 
elderly people, and although they had children, their names seem to 
have disappeared long since from among the descendants of the town. 
Mr. Marvin soon had his little log house built and his family moved 
into it. It was much like other log houses of the time — having a 
loft or garret above, and two rooms below, in one of which was a 
large, open fire-place built mostly of stones and without jambs. After 
a few years a lean-to was added in which there was a bed, a hand-loom 
and spinning wheels. His struggles to clear up his farm and at the 
same time to feed, clothe and educate his children, were like those 
of his neighbors around him. who undertook a big job when they, 
poor as they were and with scarcely any kind of labor-saving machin- 
ery, possessing but few agricultural implements, and these poor both 
in kind and quality, settled down upon lands covered by dense for- 
ests and undertook to clear them up and get their living out of them. 
Their faith was truly sublime ! 

Mr. Marvin had cleared up the greater part of the hundred acres 
and built a frame barn upon it in about 1824 or '25. He sold it to 
Elislia Albright in ] 832, and moved himself and family to Chautauqua 
county. He was induced to take this step in part by a revival in him 
of the old pioneer spirit of adventiire and change, and in ]:)art by his 
desire to buy land to make farms for his younger children, and to be 
settled nearer his two sons — Erastus the elder, who had settled at 
Kenuedyville, in Chautauqua county, and Richard at Jamestown. 

But man proposes and God disposes. Mr. Marvin never realized 
either one of these objects. He had journej^ed, with his wife and sev- 
en little children in an old-fashioned two-horse lumber wagon, over a 
rough and long road and arrived safely and all well at his son's house 
in Kenuedyville. But before he had had time to explore the country 
or buy a single acre of land, either for himself or his children, his son 
Erastus was taken sick and died of a fever and he himself and his Avife 
died soon after. The three died within a month with the same fever 
and in the same house. Their remains repose in the cemetery at 
Janipstown. Such was the sad ending of Mr. Marvin's unadvised and 
ill-judged last attempt to establish a new home in a new country. He 
died at the age of fifty-nine years. 

It is not to be doubted that a special providence cares for orphans. 
Seven small children, the oldest not vet fourteen, were here suddenly 


deprived of both parents. In this emero-enc}" their elder brother, Will- 
iam, then twentj^-four years old, took charge of the estate, moderate 
in amount, and the children. He found homes for four of them, Hen- 
ry, Harrison, Wesley and Harriet ( Tanner), among friends of their 
father and mother in Dryden. Homes were found for the others 
among friends elsewhere. The seven all grew up, married and settled 
in life. All became, too, by varir)us means, well educated and have 
made useful and highly respectable citizens. 

Mary Hibbard, the widow of Erastus, returned to her parental home 
in Homer carrying with her a baby boy. He died in New Haven, at 
the age of eighteen, while attending Yale college. 

Mr. Marvin was born in Lyme, Ct., and was twice married. His first 
wife died in 1816. She was buried in the old burying ground in or 
near the village of Dryden. By her he had seven children. One of 
them, Richard, represented Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties in 
Congress for several years, and was afterwards one of the judges of 
the Supreme Court in the Eighth Judicial District for twentj-four 
years. His home was in Jamestown, where he died in 1892. 

Another son, William, was appointed U. S. District Attorne}^ foi- the 
Southern District of Florida by President Jackson in 1835, and after- 
Avards judge of the same district by President Polk. After the civil 
war he was appointed Provisional Governor of that state by President 
Johnson. He is still living in good health at Skaneateles, N. Y., and 
celebrated his eighty-ninth birthday last April, (1897.) 

[For further particulars concerning Richard and William Marvin, 
and their portraits, see a subsequent chapter of this volume.] 

By his second wife (the widow Vandenburgh whom he married in 
Truxton, from which place he brought her and her three children 
to Dryden in the bottom of -an old fashioned sleigh) Selden Marvin 
had seven children, one of whom, George W., is a lawyer in Norwich, 
N. Y^., and another, Harrison, has served several years as supervisor 
of our town and president of Dryden village, being now in the employ 
of the State Government at Albany. 

Selden Marvin was a public spirited citizen, who generally attended 
the town and district school meetings. He was quite often elected a 
<'ommissioner of highways and was for a considerable number of years 
trustee of the gospel and school lot. In politics he was a Federalist, 
but he was known less for his civic virtues than for his religious char- 
acteristics. He was a Methodist — a class leader and exhorter. The 
few Methodists in and about the village, consisting of Mr. Marvin, 
JoJm Guiunip, Mr. Hunting, old Father Holt, and a few others whose 


names are not recalled, used to meet together on Sundays, sometimes 
in private houses, but more often in the old school house in the vil- 
lage. At these meetings the faithful prayed and sang hymns together. 
Mr. Marvin was their leader. He used to pray and exhort with great 
earnestness and power and in a loud voice which was often heard over 
half the village. A great number of persons in that day declared that 
they had been converted or greatly strengthened and comforted by 
his prayers and exhortations. His memory is still fragrant in the 
minds of a few persons yet living. He was an honest, simple hearted, 
humble minded, God fearing man, inoffensive and much beloved by 
his friends and neighbors. 

SwEETLAND, BowEN and James, brothers, came from Vermont as 
young men early in the century and together owned and operated a 
saw-mill on the creek about twenty rods below the Woolen Mill, 
where the banks of the old mill pond can still be seen in the pasture 
lot of D. Bartholomew. Afterwards Bowen kept hotel where the 
Blodgett hotel was built later. Tlie old building where Sweetland 
served as landlord, having been moved off and remodeled, is believed 
to be the house where Thomas Tamlin now resides on Union street, 
having been first occupied after its removal by Esquire E. H. Sweet, 
the nurseryman and shoemaker. Bowen Sweetland finally owned and 
occupied the Burlingame farm, one-half mile north of the village, 
where he died March 13, 1859, 72 years of age. His seven children 
all settled in the West except Bowen, Jr., who died in Dryden a few 
years ago, and Luciuda, who married Alansou Burlingame, Sr., and 
died in Dryden about thirty-five years ago. 

James, after leaving the saw-mill, purchased the farm a mile east of 
the village which he afterwards sold to Bradshaw, and then removed 
to the Layton farm near the Lake, where he died in 1862, aged 74 
years. His wife was Frances Wakely and his eight children all found 
homes in the West except two sons, George and Lafayette, still resi- 
dents of Dryden, and Sarah (Hiles), who recently died here. 

Tannek, Abraham and William T., two brothers, from Petersburgh, 
Rensselaer county, N. Y., after serving in the Wa,r of 1812, came to 
Dryden. Their younger sister, Hannah (Griswold), had preceded 
them, she having come with Amos Lewis, and it was a visit to her 
which resulted in the early settlement here of her brothers. They 
were blacksmiths and opened a shop together near where the Brad- 
shaw house is now located, one mile east of the village, but Abraham, 
on account of his health, was obliged to seek lighter work, and, after 
some experience as a merchant, which was not altogether successful 


and as hotel keeper where James Lormor, Sr., recently resided, he 
became postmaster and justice of the peace, offices which he held for 
more than twenty-five years, and in administering which he gave very 
geneial satisfaction. His first wife, whom he married in 1818, was 
Asenath Wakel}^ after wliose death he married for his second wife 
Betsey Lum, by both of whom he left descendants. 

William T. continued in the blacksmith business and afterwards 
with his sons embarked too largely in the manufacture of wagons, and 
failed. In 1820 he married Polly West, who survived him, and by 
whom he had a large family of children. Both of these brothers were 
men of excellent character and good common sense, but both seemed 
to have been wanting in some of the sterner qualities which go to 
make up a thoroughly successful business man. 

Thomas, Michael, left the state of New Jersey in the summer of 
1811, traveling northwest, seeking a home in the wilds of New York. 
After prospecting some time among the lakes he came to Dryden Sept. 
11, 1811, and bought one hundred six acres in the south-east corner of 
Lot No. 48, for which he paid $430.23 in sound money of the State of 
New York and received a good warranty deed, still in possession of 
the family, from Egbert Benson, executor of John Lawrence, who died 
a resident of New York cit}^ but who had been an extensive dealer in 
Dryden real estate. Four cows, two span of horses, two covered 
wagons well filled and one thousand dollars in money then constituted 
his worldly possessions in addition to his land. 

His family at that time consisted of seven children, the youngest 
one of whom was the only child of his second wife, who accompanied 
them. Four more children were born to them in Dryden. The oldest, 
Martha, or Mattie, was already married to the ancestor of the Space 
family in Dryden, Jacob Space, who at this time accompanied his 
father-in-law in his migration from New Jersey, and located where his 
son William now lives. Elizn, married Sanford Bouton and moved to 
Yirgil. Fannie married Edward Cole and died in Freeville. Polly 
married William Sutfin and lived in Freeville. John married Sophia 
Bowlby and moved to Bath. Joseph married and lived in New Jersey. 
Michael married for his first wife Catharine Trapp, and for his second 
wife Ellen Swart, and lived near Dryden Lake, where he died in 
March, 1897, 87 years of age. Anna married twice and is still living 
near the Black River in the northern part of the state. Charlotte 
married George Bouton, a clergyman of the M. E. church, and became 
the mother of Ex-Mayor C. D. Bouton, of Ithaca. William married 
Catharine Caswell and is still living in the house originally built by 


his father in 1824, and in wliich he was born a year hiter, the house 
having since been extensively enlarged and repaired. Malvina, the 
youngest of the family, married Almond Trapp, who Avas the youngest 
of a family of eleven children, and both are living near McLean. 

Grandma Thomas, as she was, in her old age, familiarh' called, had 
a good memory and often told amusing and interesting incidents of 
this journey from New Jersey to Dryden and described many in- 
stances of the privations and hardships of pioneer life. The south 
half of Lot No. 48, with the exception of a small clearing where the 
wagon house on the Thomas farm now stands, was then covered with 
a heavy growth of timber. Fish and game were plenty, bears being- 
common, and it was no unfrequent sight to see deer in cold weather 
when the snow was deep feeding with the cows near the barn. A jug 
is still preserved in the family which was used in the pioneer journey 
to carry milk for the children, it being over one hundred years old. 

South street was then located where is now the lane to the barn- 
yard, west of the clearing, which contained a log house and barn and 
a grove of small elm trees. One of these elm saplings which is de- 
scribed as being, when the Thomas family came there, " no larger 
than a chair post, " has grown with the growth of Dryden, the trunk 
of which is now sixteen feet in circumference near the ground and is 
one of the largest if not the oldest elm tree in the township. 

Michael Thomas and his wife worked hard in clearing up their 
farm and lived long to enjoy the fruits of their labor, he having died 
in 1858 at the ripe age of 92, while she, being thirty-two years his 
junior, survived him twenty-seven years. 

Thomas, Joseph, Sr., a brother of Michael, was an early pioneer of 
Dryden from the same family in New Jersey, among whose children 
were Joseph, Jr., and John Thomas, who resided only a few^ years ago 
near where Walter Thomas, the son of John, now lives, and Mrs. 
Abram Carmer and Mrs. George Tripp, all of whom are .represented 
by numerous living descendants. 

West, John, and wife lived in Rhode Island in 1798, where their 
son Gardner was born May 7th of that year. In some wav they 
caught the "Western fever" of those days and with a brother, Mason, 
came as far as Fairfield, Herkimer county, N. Y., where they bought 
a home together and where their daughter Mary (Aunt Polly Tanner) 
was born July 21st, 1803. The partnership between the two brothers 
was not entirely satisfactory, as is usually the case under such circum- 
stances, and in 1805 John came out to Dryden prospecting for a new 
home still further west. As the result he sold out his possessions in 


Herkimer county to his brother aud moved his famil}' to Dryden, 
where they arrived in February, 1806, with all their goods on an ox- 
sled. They stopped temporarily in a log house which stood in the 
orchard near the house where Harrison Hiles now lives, which was 
then, or shortly after, the home of Joshua Holt, known also as "old 
Father Holt. " Together with Benjamin Tucker they purchased the 
greater part of Lot 28, one mile and more north from Dry den village, 
and Mr. West built for himself a log house, where his son, William 
West, was born May 18, 1806. Their next eldest child, Percy Hiles, 
was born there June 12th, 1808, on the same farm where she now re- 
sides with her son John, the log house being located where the or- 
chard now is. She will therefore be ninet}' years old next June and is 
able to furnish more details of the early events of those years than 
most other old people now living. One brother (Nathan West) and 
three sisters (Sally M. Draper, Flavilla Hiles and Lovina Clark) were 
afterwards born. A frame hcnise was built where the house of her 
son, John W. Hiles, is now located, when she was ten 3'ears old (1818), 
and up to that time her father, John West, had nothing but an ox 
team. Some time after, he purchased one hoi'se, but Aunt Perc-y 
says that the roads were not suitable for horses to travel on in those 
days. Nearly all of the children of John West will be recognized as 
familiar characters'to the people of Dryden village, and his descend- 
ants now living here are numerous. 

Wheeler, Deacon Seth, served in the War of the Kevolution, at the 
close of Avhich he married Rebecca Eliott, of Boston, and lived in 
Croydon, N. H. In the spring of 1804, he, with his oldest daughter, 
Rebecca, and son John, came to Drj'den, prospecting for a new home 
in the West. Being pleased with the countr}" Seth and his son re- 
turned in the fall for the rest of the family, Avhich included, in all, 
his wife and ten children. They came with one ox team, three horses, 
and two wagons, carrying all their worldh^ goods, including about one 
thcnisand dolhirs in mone}', with which was purchased one hundred 
eighty acres of land one mile north of Dryden village on both sides 
of the highway still known as the " Wheeler road, " being premises 
now owned by 8. C. Fulkerson, James McDermott, and E. P. Wheeler. 
In 1822 a commodious frame house Avas built, replacing the log cabin 
which had accommodated the family until that time. Seth Wheeler 
was a fluent talker, a man of marked ability, deacon in the Baptist 
church, an earnest exhorter, holding meetings frequently in the neigh- 
boring school districts. He died in 1828 aged 72, aud was buried 
with his wife, whose death preceded his, in the old cemetery east of 


the village, where a double slate slab still marks the location of their 

Of their children, Rebecca married Eliseph Sanford and moved to 
Greenwood, Steuben county, N. Y. Betsey married Jared Todd, of 
West Dryden, and afterwards, with eight children, moved to a new 
place in Michigan, named from them Toddville, where their descend- 
ants are now numerous. Susan married John Pettigrove and moved 
to Owego, some of their descendants now living in Ithaca. Lucy and 
Polly died unmarried. Seth, Jr., married Arnantha Lacy, lived on the 
east part of the farm and died without surviving issue. Enos, the an- 
cestor of the most of the family still living in Dryden, married Mary 
Blair, and was a successful farmer, a genial and public spirited citi- 
zen, a school trustee and an active member of the Presbyterian so- 
ciety of Dryden. He died in 1867. John also left descendants living 
in Dryden, married Eliza Blair, was a Methodist, and moved from 
Dryden before his death, Salinda, born in 1799, is still living, at the 
age of 98 years, with her son in Litchfield, Mich. [Since the foregoing 
was in type for printing this book, news is received of her death in 
February, 1898.] She married William Marsden Blair, and one of 
their daughters is the wife of Representative Flickinger, of Ohio. 
Anna, the tenth child, married Anson Cook and moved to Michigan, 
where their descendants still reside. 

Whitmoke, Parley, was Dryden's early merchant, druggist, post- 
master, justice of the peace, and scrivener. No History of the town 
would be complete Avhich did not take notice of him, although our 
data concerning him are very incomplete. He came to Dryden early, 
was postmaster in 1812, and in his latter years here he lived on South 
street about where the I. P. Ferguson house now stands, and his store 
was on what is now the church corner. He seems to have been, finan- 
cially, somewhat dependent upon Capt. Edward Griswold, who fur- 
nished, to a great extent, the capital stock invested in his business, 
his goods being brought by teams from Albany, on the return trip 
from marketing loads of pioneer produce. Those who kncAv him say 
that he was a valuable man in a new country, although he seems to 
have been too easy and indulgent to become a successful merchant. 
He was somewhat more intelligent and better acquainted with the 
rules of law and ways of business than the farmers about him. He 
administered justice among them very fairly and settled many of their 
disputes without suit, drawing up for them their contracts and other 
papers. Old Dryden village deeds and contracts are usually ac- 
knowledged before or witnessed by him. We are not able to learn 


that the town supported any lawyers in the Pioneer Period and still, 
strange as it may seem, (?) under such guidance as Squire Whitmore 
gave them, the people lived and prospered. He had two sons, Philo, 
who long ago married and settled in Corning, and George, who mar- 
ried and lived in Ithaca, but we are unable to learn of them now and 
it seems that we shall be obliged to confess that Dryden has lost trace 
of the race of one of its earliest citizens and benefactors, Esquire 



Whitney's saw-mill, located on the site of the present Woolen Mill, 
must have called into existence the first use of water power in the 
village. Its origin was very early in the century and it remained in 
use as late as 1845, very nearly up to the time when the stone walls of 
the new Woolen Mill were erected in about the year 1850 by A. L. 
Bushnell. The origin of the Woolen Mill dates back to 1819 when the 
first " clothing works, " as they were then called, were established by 
Benjamin Lacy. A flume from the saw-mill pond carried water to 
drive the carding-machine, fulling-mill and cloth dresser of those 
times, which constituted the " clothing works, " the yarn being spun 
and the cloth woven on the hand wheels and looms of the neighboring 
farmers. Such cloth finishing machinery, used to finish the home- 
made cloth of that period, was quite frequently met with throughout 
the country. Ethel Barnum, who first came to Dryden with his 
brother-in-law, Samuel Williams, in the year 1818, and was the father 
of our Ralph W. Barnum, became the proprietor of this enterprise 
after the death of Mr. Lacy, but he died soon after, in 1823. It was 
not until after the property was sold to Bennett &. Gillett, about 
1844, that cloth was actually woven there, a brand of " sheep's gray " 
cloth being manufactured by them wbich had a local reputation for 
good quality among the farmers. 

The village had no grist-mill until 1881, but Benjamin Bennett came 
down from Locke the year before and, after carefully looking over the 
ground and measuring the fall of water which could be obtained for 
power by combining the lake outlet with Virgil Creek, selected the 
site of the present stone mill, upon which a wooden building was then 
erected for a grist-mill. Edward Davidson, a brother-in-law to Ben- 
nett, became a partner with him in the enterprise. They purchased of 


Cyrus l-iuminer the rii^lit to construct and maintain a raceway tVoni 
Virgil Creek over his premises and sold to Tabor ct Blakeslee a water 
privilege where the Kennedy tannery is now located. They -were 
obliged to purchase of Michael Thomas and John C. and Garrett Lacy 
rights to conduct in a raceway the water from both streams acioss 
their ]3remises, and thus the present grist-mill water privilege had its 
origin in 1831. Lyman Corbin afterwards purchased the property and 
in 1845 replaced the wooden grist-mill by building the present stone 

About the ^^ear 1824 there came from Middletown, Conn., Asa Phil- 
lips, a young man of some prominence in Dryden's history, wdiose 
brothers were Dr. John W. Phillips, of Dryden, and Dr. George W. 
Phillips, of Ithaca, both registered at Ithaca in the years 1820 and 
1821 respectivel}'. He first came as a school teacher, married in 1828 
a niece of Daniel J. Shaw, who had been a Dryden merchant, and be- 
came postmaster under the appointment of President Andrew Jackson 
on March 3, 1831 — a position which lie lield until his death, July 4, 
1843. He was a partner wath Moses Brown in the mercantile business 
and was an influential member of the M. E. church of the village, for 
which the first church edifice was erected in these times. His son 
Robert A. Phillips, now a real estate dealer of Washington, D. C, w^as 
born in Dryden village in 1833, and has contributed some interesting 
data derived from his residence here, which continued until 1850. He 
relates that wdthin his recollection the United States mail was brought 
into Diyden Corners daily in a four-horse thoroughbrace coach, the 
driver blowing a long tin horn as lie entered, loud enough so that it 
was heard throughout the whole settlement. The postage on a single 
letter was then eighteen pence (18j cents). Eggs were then received 
at the store in exchange for goods at five cents per dozen, and butter 
at from ten to twelve cents per pound, but wheat was higher then than 
now, the average price being about $1.50 per bushel. 

Amos Lewis, wdio lived east from the village, was a great horse deal- 
er in those times, carefully matching and training horses for the New 
York market to which he took them, sometimes realizing as high as 
one thousand dollars for a pair of horses thus prepared by him. 

In the 3'ear 1836 John Southworth built his brick house on North 
street and the original section of the brick block on the southwest 
of the Dryden four corners. In later years (about 1850) Hiram W. 
Sears, who came to Dryden from Madison county about 1845, ex- 
tended the original brick store in front as seen in the accompanying 
cut produced from an old photograph of that time taken by Dr. F. S. 



Howe, whose s;;illerv was opposite, and later (about 1865) Meriitt Bau- 
cus constructed the addition on the west side, the original building 
being less than one-third of its present dimensions. While his house 
and store were being built Mr. Southworth lived in the little house on 
East Main street now occupied by Will Mespell, where his first wife 
had died in 1830, and which it is suspected had been removed from 
the site of the brick store to make room for it ; if so it is the oldest 
house now existing in town, being the first frame house built by Dr. 
Sheldon about 1800. This supposition is supported by the fact that 
it lias two sets of sills under it, indicatinc; that it has been moved to 


its present location, aud the additional fact that there never was any 
plastering on some of the walls and the partitions are made of wide, 
rough, but clear pine boards such as would naturally be very abundant 
when lumber first began to be manufactured. The roof, cornice and 
outside covering are doubtless of a later date. 

In 1840 Joseph McGraw, Jr., built the brick store on the opposite, 
southeast corner known as the hardware block, where he for some 
years after carried on business as a merchant. At about this time 
two of the best dwellings in the village in those days were erected on 
Main street ; one, now occupied by E. Baufield and formerly owned by 
Esquire Tyler, was built by Bradford Potter, and remains very much 
as it was originally built, and the other, the Dr. Montgomery house on 


the opposite side of the street, was built by a Mr. Putnam, and a 
third story has since been added. Both are said to have been 
raised on the same day, one with the use of liquor for the workmen, 
which was the established custom on those occasions, but at the other 
raising a supper was substituted, being the first effort to promote the 
cause of temperance which we are able to record in Dryden village. 
Thus it is seen that the building of the village was materially ad- 
vanced in this period. 

In these days there had come to the village from the farms on the 
neighboring hillsides, three young men who were all destined after- 
wards to become Dryden merchants, and one of them to take a leading 
part in the public affairs of the town and county. All were of 
humble but respectable parentage and all had been obliged to spend 
their boyhood at work upon the farms of the backwoods, so to speak, 
of a lumbering town, with very scanty means of education. But all 
were entering manhood possessed of excellent habits, and had within 
them the elements of true gentlemen with all which that term implies, 
as was afterwards developed in their lives, but neither of them other- 
wdse possessed any apparent advantage over the ordinary farmer boy 
who goes to town to seek his fortune. They were John McGraw 
and Jeremiah W. Dwight, both from the rather forbidding South Hill 
neighborhood, and Edwin Fitts from near Willow Glen. From small 
beginnings in their business careers the two former accumulated 
large fortunes, Mr. Dwight in his latter years adding political honors 
to his business success, while the latter, though no less a gentleman 
and esteemed and respected by all who knew him, lacked those stern- 
er qualities which are essential to make up the successful man of bus- 
iness. It is said that Mr. McGraw commenced his business appren- 
ticeship with the early Dryden merchant, Daniel J. Shaw, and after- 
wards served as a clerk in the brick store then kept by his older 
brother, Thomas McGraw, and John Southworth, and upon the death 
of Th(nnas, about 1838, he succeeded to his interest. Mr. Dwight, 
who was four years younger than McGraw, commenced his clerkship 
in the year 1838 in the store of Alanson Benjamin, which stood near 
where Charles Green's shop is now located, and soon afterwards be- 
came a partner with A. L. Bushnell in the brick store since known as 
the hardware block. The subsequent careers of these two Dryden 
boys will be treated of hereafter in special biographies. Mr. Fitts, 
who was between the others in age, after a clerkship with McGraw & 
Phillips (Joseph McGraw, Jr., and George W. Phillips) in the brick 
store, carried on business for himself in the Blodgett Block, and failed. 


He was afterwards emploj'ed in the custom house in New York. 

We would like to impress upou the ambitious young men of the ris- 
ing generation that although the use of intoxicating drink and tobacco 
was much more universal then than now% the women as well as the 
men of those days freely enjoying the use of the pipe as well as the 
snuff-box, and a bottle or jug of "si^irits," if in no larger quantities, 
being considered a necessity for frequent use in every household, nei- 
ther of these young men ever indulged in the use of intoxicating bev- 
erages and the two of them most successful never acquired the habit 
of the use of tobacco in any form whatever. 

At this stage of its development Dryden began to possess legal tal- 
ent, the first full Hedged attorue}^ to reside here being Corj'don Tyler, 
whose home and office were both located on Main street opposite to 
where is now the Grove Hotel. His office was a nice little ])uilding, 
still interesting to the writer, which was afterwards moved up-town 
and located on the Pratt corner, where it was used by Milo Goodrich 
in 1850 for his postoffice, on the exact spot to which the present post- 
office has recently been removed, and is now, in its old age, annexed 
in the rear to the Pratt row of business places. Esquire Tyler seems 
to have been a man of character and ability ; although from some 
anecdotes told of him we surmise that he was almost too aristocratic 
in his nature and too hasty in his temper to be able to adapt himself 
entirely to the requirements of his profession in a new country town. 
He had law students under him, one of whom was Harvey A. Dowe, a 
native of Dryden village, who afterward made Ithaca his home. Hi- 
ram Bouton was also a local attorney of considerable ability and tact, 
who took up his abode here as early as 1833, and held the office of 
justice of the peace as late as 1872. 

Milo Goodrich, then a 3'oung man without reputation or fortune, lo- 
lated here with his wife soon after their marriage in 1844, renting 
rooms for house-keeping of Thomas Lewis in the building on Main 
street which has since been enlarged and converted into the Grove 

The local physicians of this period included John W. Phillips and 
Michael Phillips, registered in 1820 ; James W. Montgomery, and Dan- 
iel D. Page, in 1828 ; Isaac S. Briggs and Edwin P. Healey, in 1841. 
Dr. Page resided on what is known as the John C. Lacy corner, and 
there in his orchard, on the corner of Main and Mill streets, accord- 
ing to so good an authority on pomology as Charles Downing, origi- 
nated the Bunker Hill apple, still greatly prized in this locality where 
it is well known. 


Dr. Montoomerv, who was a man of social and literary standing- as 
well as of professional ability, having twice represented Dryden in 
the Legislature at Albany, as well as being an active member of the 
local reading and debating society of that time, lived where his son 
and daughter still reside on Main street. 

Dr. Briggs was also a man of literary as well as of professional 
abilit}^ and an excellent citizen. 

At or near the close of this period a terrible scourge, known here 
and remembered as the Dryden fever, swept over the new country 
and was particularly fatal in the village and its vicinity. It is now 
said to have been a species of malignant typhoid fever, developed per- 
haps b}' the rapid changes in the condition of the lowlands so recent- 
ly deprived of their natural covering of foliage and not yet reclaimed 
l3y artificial drainage. 



While the town and rural districts have l)een decreasing in popula- 
tion ever since 1836, the village of Dryden has had a slow but steady 
and continuous growth from the beginning of its settlement. Per- 
haps, however, at no time was that growth so rapid as at the com- 
mencement of this period. The building of the stone Woolen Mill by 
A. L. Bushnell at this time afforded a promise of future business 
prosperity to the village, but if its somewhat checkered career, in- 
volving at least two failures, and two fires, in one of which all of the 
combustible material was destroyed, could have been foreseen, the 
high hopes based upon its success would have vanished. Still in its 
periods of prosperity it has been a source of great advantage to the 
village, giving employment to a considerable number of inhabitants, 
and at no time has it been capable of yielding products of so much 
value as at present. 

The building of the stone l)lock in 1852-3 by Jeremiah W. D wight 
was a great undertaking for a young business man in a small village, 
but under his efficient direction and management it has always been 
■a success, affording a good and continuous income from the invest- 

At about the same time P. M. Blodgett built next west of the stone 
block the three-story wooden building known as the Blodgett block, 
which was not so successful, and which was destroyed by fire about 



1866. Stimuliited by these iinprovements Col. Lewis Barton, who 
kept tlie old hotel o))])osite the stone block, enlarged it by adding a 
third story at this time, (1855.) 

Col. Barton was a very popular landlord and a public spiritetl citi- 
zen, serving as ])resident of the village in 1860, and as marshal on 
various occasions, one of which was a large temperance parade. He 
came to Dryden from Virgil early in this period and died in 1868. 
Among his descendants were Lieutenant Daniel W. Barton, who was 
killed in the battle of Spottsylvania, May 12, '61; Chas. W. Barton, 


whose surviving son, Daniel W., resides at Elizabeth, N. J. ; Mrs. 
Mary E. Hiles, whose surviving son was recentl}' engaged here in 
tracing out the annals of the Hiles family, and Lucy Ette Spiece, of 
Ardmore, Pa., who is now the only surviving child of Col. Lewis 

The first newspaper published in the village came from the hand- 
press of H. D. Rumsey, in 1856, and was first known as " Rumsey's 
Companion. " After several changes in the name and ownership it was 
discontinued, within two years after it commenced publication. It 
had, however, fortunately for us, published and thus preserved under 
the title of the " Old Man in the Clouds, " the series of articles wliich 


have been of great aid in the preservation of the early history of Dry- 
den. In July, 1858, it was revived under the name of " The Dryden 
Weekly News, " by Asahel Clapp, who continued its publication suc- 
cessfully until 1871, when he removed it to Ithaca where it is still 
published by his son as The Weekly Ithacan. Soon after, a new pa- 
per was published at Dryden village under the name of The Dryden 
Herald, which, after changing hands several times, was greatly en- 
larged and improved under the management and ownership of A. M. 
Ford and now under the proprietorship of his son, J. Giles Ford, ia 
one of the most enterprising local papers to be found issued in a 
country village. 

The war itself left but very little impress upon the village, and, as 
already stated in the town history, it was from a business point of 
view a time of unusual prosperity. 

The advent of the Southern Central railroad in 1869 has already 
been referred to and produced no great immediate change in the af- 
fairs of the village. To the merchants the advantage of reduced 
freight rates and quicker transportation was oti'set by the ease and 
frequency with which their customers sought places in larger towns 
to do their trading. To the farmers, because it oftered a better and 
nearer market, especially for such bulky articles of produce as pota- 
toes and hay, the permanent benefit of the railroad has been consid- 
erable, and without railroad facilities to-day our condition would in- 
deed be deplorable. A proposition was made when the Ithaca & 
Cortland railroad was being built that by raising the sum of twenty- 
five thousand dollars, the junction could be secured within the limits 
of Dryden village, and at almost any other time it would have been 
seriously entertained, but at this time the village had almost exhaust- 
ed itself in the effort to secure the Southern Central, and affected with 
the reaction already being experienced from the decline of the unusu- 
al prosperity of the preceding years, the people were content to let 
the opportunity pass by. 

The merchants of this period included J. W. Dwight & Co., (the 
company including E. S. Farnham, Isaac P. Ferguson, and A. F. Tan- 
ner) in the stone block, George L. Truesdell and William H. Sears, 
in the Exchange block, and Hiram W. Sears, Eli A. Spear, and later 
Merritt Baucus, in the brick block. Hiram W. Sears, who married a 
daughter of John Southworth, for a number of years carried on an ex- 
tensive business in packing pork, buying wool and other mercantile 

Cyrus French developed a flourishing business in the hardware 


block. G. H. Sperij and Alanson Burliiigame inaugurated the coal 
and lime business at the railroad station. H. F. Pierce conducted a 
moderate furniture and undertaking business, while Harrison Marvin 
and Otis Murdock conducted the boot and shoe business. 

The Woolen Mill flourished in the hands of E. Eockwell, the tan- 
nery was greatly enlarged and improved by the Kennedy Brothers, 
and the grist-mill was managed by John Perrigo, assisted later bv his 
son, Charles M. 

The medical profession was reinforced during this time by the ar- 
rival of Dr. Wm. Fitch, from Yirgil ; and Dr. J. J. Montgomery suc- 
ceeded to the practice r.f his father. 

The old hotel passed from the proprietorship (jf Col. Lewis Barton 
to Deuel & Jagger, then to Jagger alone, and afterwards into the hands 
of Peter Mineah, whose co-partner at one time in the business was 
Ex-Sherifi' John D. Benton, while James H. Cole developed the Grove 
Hotel after the Blodgett House was destroyed by fire. Mills Van 
Valkenburgh, Garry E. Chambers, W. W. Hare and Silas S. Montgom- 
ery developed into lawyers from law students in the office of Milo 

A literary societ}^ existing sometimes in the form of a reading cir- 
cle and at others as a debating club, flourished in these days and 
many of the older citizens will remember with what earnestness and 
zeal Dr. Briggs, J. W. Dwight, T. J. McElheny, John C. Lacy, and 
man}' others maintained the affirmative or negative of numerous ques- 
tions in debate at the old school house. Our attention has recently 
been called by one of the old members of this literary organization, 
to the beneficial results which were seen in the subsequent careers of 
some of its members, and a little reflection should awaken in us of the 
present generation an appreciation of such means of self-culture. 

In the year 1857 Dr3'den village was incorporated, the population 
then being about four hundred and the corporate limits including 999;^ 
acres. The petition for incorporation was signed by Thomas J. Mc- 
Elheny, Isaac P. Ferguson, George Schenck, Lewis Barton, Freeman 
Stebbins, Hiram W. Sears, William W. Tanner, David J. Baker, N. L. 
Bates, Abraham Tanner, Jeremiah W. Dwight and fifty-eight others, 
and upon the vote taken upon the question of incorporation one hun- 
dred and twelve ballots were cast, of which seventy-eight were in the 
affirmative. In 1865 the village was re-incorporated under a special 
charter (chapter 320 of the laws of 1865) prepared Avitli great care by 
Mills Van Valkenburgh, then an attorney residing in the village and 
afterward county judge. 



The first officers elected in 1857 were as follows : Trustees, David 
P. Goodhue, Rochester Marsh, William W. Tannei', John B. Sweet- 
land, and Isaac H. Ford ; assessors, Augustus H. Phillips, Orrin W. 
Wheeler, and John C. Lacy ; collector and poundmaster, Godfre}^ 
Sharp ; treasurer, Horace G. Fitts ; clerk, Thomas J. McElheny. 

The following table gives the names of the presidents and clerks of 
the village to the present time : 


David P Goodhue, - 1857-8 

Freeman Stebbins, - 1859 

Lewis Barton, - 1860 

Freeman Stebbins, - 1861 

John C Lacy, - - 1862 

John Ferrigo, - - 1863 

John W. Phillips, - 1864 

Rochester Marsh, - - 1865-6 

Eli A. Spear, - - 1867 

D. Bartholomew, - - 1868 

G. H. Washburn, - 1869 

Alvin Cole, - - 1870 

John H. Kennedy, - 1871-2 

Rochester Marsh, - - 1873 

G. H. Sperry, - - 1874-5 

Hiirrison Marvin, - - 1876 

George E. Goodrich, - 1877 

J. E. McElheny, - - 1878 

John H. Pratt,^ - 1879-80 

John H. Kennedy, - 1881 

Erastus H. Lord', - 1882-3 

D. R. Montgomery, - 1884-5 

Albert J. Baker, - 1886 

John H. Kennedv, - 1887-8 

D. R. Montgomei-v, - 1889 90 
George E. Goodrich, - 1891-4 
C. D. Williams, - 1895 
George Sutfin, - - 1896 

E. Davis Allen, - 1897 

T. J. McElhenv, - - 1857 

M. Van Valkeuburgh, - 1858 

Harrison Marvin, - - 1859 

William H. Sears, - 1860 

I. P. Ferguson, - - 1861 

Mott L. Spear, - 1862 

William H. Sears, - 1863-4 

C. D. Bouton, - - 1865 

M. Van Valkenburgh, - 1865 

William H. Sears, - 1866 

S. S. Montgomery, - 1867 

C. D. Bouton, - - 1868 
S. S. Montgomerv, 1869-70 
George E. Goodrich, - 1871-2 
William E. Osmun, - 1873-5 
George E. Goodrich, - 1876 
W. H. Goodwin, Jr., 1877-80 
L. D. Mallery, - - 1881-2 

D. T. Wheeler, - 1883-94 

E. D. Branch, - 1895-97 



Near the beginning of this time (1872 to 1897) the outlook for the 
business prosperity of the village was not encouraging. Asahel Clapp 
had moved his printing office and newspaper from Dryden to Ithaca; 


Jackson Graves, who had maintained a nourishing select school, the 
old Dryden Academy, was about giving up the enterprise, and por- 
tions of the Blodgett lot where the large hotel building was burned in 
1866 had not yet been rebuilt. In fact there had been and was for a 
few years to come but very little new building in the village ; the time 
of unusual prosperity had passed and the future was unpromising. 

In these dark times for the village, the first sign of returning confi- 
dence was seen in the establishment of a Union Graded Free School 
to take the place of the old District School and defunct Academy. 
The writer well remembers the meeting at the old school house on 
Main street, where D. Bartholomew now resides, at which this change 
was made which seemed to be a turning point in Dryden's future pros- 
perit}- as a village. Nearly every voter was present at the meeting, 
including such conservative taxpayers as John Southworth, John C. 
Lacy and Alpheus F. Houpt, to oppose the measure, and the more 
confident, progressive citizens, such as Harrison Marvin, Merritt Bau- 
cus and Barnum S. Tanner, to favor it. The attendance was full, the 
discussion excited, and the result for a time doubtful. The successful 
issue of the matter was supposed to have been brought about b}^ a lit- 
tle strategy practiced by Harrison Marvin, whose duty it was, as clerk 
of the district, to prepare a Jist of the voters who answered upon the 
call of their names to the question, "yes" or "no." Mr. Marvin placed 
at the head of the list those who were most likely to favor the meas- 
ure and the responsive "yes" came so frequenth' at the beginning of 
the call that the opponents were disheartened and the doubtful voters 
joined the majority. 

In the year 1876, under the leadership of Capt. Marvin as president, 
the Village Hall was built on South street at an expense of about six- 
teen hundred dollars, furnishing accomodations for a fire department 
and fire extinguishing apparatus as well as a lock-up, and a public 
hall above. A hand engine was purchased and cisterns were con- 
structed in different parts of the village as resesvoirs of water for fire 
extinguishing purposes, but fortunatel}" their practical utilit}^ Avas nev- 
er very much put to the test. 

The business failures during this period included John and Chas. 
M. Perrigo, at the Grist Mill ; Sears & Baucus, at the Brick Store ; 
the Rockwell Bros., at the Woolen Mill ; and finally Kennedy Bros., 
at the Tannery, which, following in too quick succession, combined to 
depress further business enterprises. 

In 1892 another crisis in the public affairs of the village was reached 
when the question of bonding the village for a gravity system of water- 



works was submitted to the taxpayers, who, after considerable dis- 
cussion and much opposition on the part of the more censervativ& 
elemerit, decided by a majority of twelve upon a full vote, to issue thfr 
bonds and undertake the work, which was completed in the two years- 
following. The system was put in at an expense of about twenty- 
live thousand dollars, and has since had one practical test in ex- 
tinguishing a fire under full headway in the third story of the Woolen 
Mill, and it is now believed that this important step in the progress of 
the village, supplying excellent water permanently for all j^urposes, 
although involving a considerable expense for a small village, will 
never be regretted. 


Stimulated by this enterprise and by an offer on the part of a for- 
mer citizen, Hon. Andrew Albright, of Newark, N,. J., to present to 
the village an elaborate ornamental fountain as a memorial to his pa- 
rents, who were early residents of the town, upon the condition that 
citizens would provide for the removal of the church sheds which 
then occupied a part of the village " green " and prepare a suitable 
foundation and surroundings for such a fountain, this improvement 
was also undertaken, and at an expense of upwards of fifteen hundred 


■dollars, mostly provided by voluntary contributions, additional land 
was purchased to furnish sites for the sheds of both church organiza- 
tions, which were then removed to the rear ; the " green " was enlarged 
and graded so as to be worthy to be called the village " park, " and 
the fountain was accepted and connected with the village system of 

About the same time another public enterprise, designed to provide 
n suitable hall for public meetings and entertainments, was instituted 
by the citizens under the leadership of John W. Dwight, who was the 
most liberal contributor and most efficient promoter and manager of 
the undertaking. A stock company was organized under the name of 
the Dryden Opera House Co., and a building erected on the new Li- 
brary street in the year 1893 at an expense of about three thousand 
tive hundred dollars, which does credit to the village and to those who 
-contributed the stock as a public benefit, not expecting any immediate 
dividends on the stock as an investment. 

An effort was also made at this time to revive the manufacturing in- 
dustry at the Woolen Mill, which had been idle for a number of years, 
and Hugo Dolge, whose brother, Alfi-ed Dolge, built up the manu- 
facturing interests in Herkimer county, was induced to locate here by 
a loan of five thousand dollars, contributed equally by the mill own- 
ers and citizen^ to be used as capital in carrying on the business. In 
spite of the business depression which has paralyzed almost all man- 
ufacturing concerns during the past two years, the mill has been put 
in much better condition than ever before and its products seem to be 
finding ready market, with prospects of increasing success as the times 

As a result of these efforts, in the year 1895 a dozen or more new 
liouses were constructed in the village, as many as had been built in 
the dozen years preceding, and the prospects of Dryden as a flourish- 
ing country village were very much improved. 

The building of the Southworth Library at this time will be con- 
sidered in a separate chapter. 

The thorough and systematic lighting of the streets is a public im- 
provement recently inaugurated by the board of village officers, which 
is already much appreciated and completes our list in the review of 
recent public improvements of the village. 

As business developments of this period in (Hir village worthy of 
note here, we should mention the prosperous marble and granite 
works of Williams & Bower and the furniture business of the French 
I3ros., both originating in a small way and now much exceeding simi- 


lar coueerus in most country towns. The groceiy business, as con- 
ducted by the Baker Bros., in the stone block, will compare favorably 
in the variety and quality of its stock with any similar concern in the 

The medical fraternity of the village has been reinforced in these 
later years by Doctors E. Davis Allen, Frank S. Jennings, and Mary 
L. Briggs, while the lawyers consist of George E. Monroe, George E. 
Goodrich, and L. D. Mallery, Esquire J. Dolph Ross officiating as 
town and village magistrate. 

Mention should here be made of the Dryden Springs Sanitarium,, 
built up and conducted by Miss S. S. Nivison, M. D., during the last 
half of the Century Period, just outside of the village limits. A hotel 
building was first erected on this site early in the forties by Uncle 
Thomas Lewis and by him rented to different parties who conducted 
it as a hotel and water cure. The medicinal spring waters which were 
here developed or discovered early in the century by the Lacy Broth- 
ers while prospecting for salt, have always been esteemed and made 
use of by the people of the community and have recently been care- 
fully analyzed for Dr. Nivison with the following results : 


Total solids, 11.5 grains per gallon. 

Residue consists of Lime, Soda, Patassium, trace of Iron — as Sul- 
phates and Carbonates. 

Carbon Dioxide free and combined, 13.00 grains per gallon. 
Lithia, traces. 


Total solids, 22.00 grains per gallon. 

Residue consists of Lime, Soda, Magnesia, Iron in form of Carbon- 
ates and Sulphates, also Chlorides. 

Carbon Dioxide free and combined, 6.5 grains per gallon. 
Calcium Carbonate, 5.8 grains per gallon. 
Hydrochloric Acid combined, 1.0 grains per gallon. 
Silica, 0.55 grains per gallon. 
Lithia, traces. 

As in reviewing the town, so in closing the village history we can- 
not but compare some of the present conditions with those of the 
earlier times. 


For instance the shoemakers of one hundred years ago were " trav- 
eling men," not "drummers," as the term "traveling men" would 
now imply, but men who with their kit of shoemaking tools went 
about from house to house in the new settlements, making up the 
farmers' leather into footwear for the family, enough to last for a year, 
svhen the shoemaker would again visit them. T. S. Deuel, whose 
grandfather, Reuben Deuel, was one of these traveling shoemakers, 
has the old account book of his ancestor, in which are charged in 
shillings and pence the work which he did in each family as he visit- 
ed them one hundred years ago. Fifty years ago instead of traveling 
shoemakers the work was done in the shop in the village, and W. S. 
Moffat used to keep in his shop on East Main street at least half a 
dozen men constantly employed in making boots and shoes to order, 
and every person who was about to need some footwear was re- 
quired first to go to the shop and have his foot measured. All is now 
changed and the boots and shoes of to-day are nearly all manufac- 
tured in the large cities and distributed through the traveling drum- 
mer and local salesman. 

Dryden village to-day supports two excellent meat markets, supplied 
with refrigerators, power meat choppers propelled by motors connect- 
ed with the village system of waterworks, and furnished with all other 
modern conveniences in that line. Nearly fifty years ago old Uncle 
John Wilder and Godfrey Sharp undertook to carry on a meat market 
in the basement of the stone block, promising to butcher and furnish 
fresh meat of some kind during certain days of each week, but, as we 
remember it, the enterprise was given up as a bad job, until it was 
afterwards successfully revived by Levi Messenger. The difficulty in 
those days with the meat market was that everybody was supplied 
with salt beef and pork which was laid down in barrels for each fam- 
ily in the fall or early winter as regularly as we now provide potatoes 
for the year, and fresh meat was a luxury not often thought of. 

The first permanent barber to locate in Dr3"den was Wm. H. Lester, 
who, when a young man twenty years of age, opened a shop July 1, 
1858, in the southeast room of Barton's Hotel. Prior to that time 
Dryden men either shaved themselves or let their beards grow in the 
natural way, as was quite often done. Now the village supports two 
very creditable barber shops with four men censtantly employed. 

Thus we are able to see how times have changed with us during the 
past hundred years. 



13 Mrs. C. Rummer, 
19 E. E. Bannell. 

Wall Street. 
I J. D. Ross, 
4 C. J. Bailey, 
8 J. D. Ross. 

Lewis Street. 

1 D. D. Edwards, 

2 Abram Hutchings, 

4 George Hart, 

5 Fred Sherwood, 

6 D. R. Montgomery, 

7 D. Bartholomew, 

8 D. C. McGregor, 
ID A. C. Rockefeller, 
15 Wm. W. Ellas, 

19 Joseph Basil, 

20 Abram Hunter, 

23 Mrs. Sidney Sorrell, 

24 James Graham, 

25 29, M. Tripp, 

32 R. H. Newsome, 
40 Mrs. John Hunter. 
Hill Street. 
2 H. A. Lormor, 

4 Arnold Hopkins, 

6 O. Coleman, 

7 George Bradley, 

8 Barney Tyler, 

10 Mrs. Harriet Carpenter, 
14 I. D. Jenks, 

18 E. D. Branch, 

26 Dryden Stone Mill, 

28 Guy Chew, 

29 A. Marsh, 

34 Chas. Ivormor. 

Lake Street. 

9 John McKeon, 

11 I. P. Ferguson estate, 
13 Edward Swart, 

17 Hiram Pugsley, 

21 John Swart, 

22 John Swart, cidermill, 
25 John Goodwin, 

40 David O'Dell, 
48 J. H. Kennedy, 
50 P. E. Kennedy, 
52 Dryden Tannery. 

Montgomery Street. 

5 Wm. Wheeler, 

11 John Sandwick. 

James Street. 
8 D. S. Messenger, 

12 Thomas Tamlin, 
16 R. E. Stilwell, 

21 W. Pond, 
25 B. Bishop estate, 
31 Charlie Ballard, 
33 Carson Vunk, 
35 A. P. Brown, 
37 Irving Brown, 
43 Wm. H. Moore. 

South Street. 

I Weyant & Kingsbury, hard- 

3 Mrs. W. H. Moore, 

5 W. H. Moore, shoes, 

6 Wheeler & Co., storehouse, 

7 W. H. Moore, residence, 

8 Wheeler & Co., storehouse, 

9 George Cole, residence, 
10 M. Tyler, carriages, 

12 Bailey & Ellison, bl'ksmiths 

13 H. Marvin, 

14 S. W. Daniels, shop, 

15 Kllery Vunk, 

16 Firemen's Hall, 

18 Chas. Tanner, 

19 Mrs. I. P. Ferguson, 

21 Chas. Williams, 

22 R. C. Rummer, 

23 J. E. McElheny, 

24 Wm. Tanner, 

25 Geo. E. Goodrich, 

26 Mrs. Chas. LaBarr, 

27 Mrs. A. Hill, 

28 James E. Lormor, 
36 Mrs. Anna Stewart, 
38 Mrs. A. Collings, 
42 Truman Parker, 

46 W. F. Miller, 

47 Dr. Mary Briggs, 

48 S. M. Stanton, 
58 Henry Small, 

64 F. & F. Caswell, 
68 Mrs. Catharine Mellon, 
70 Orris Church estate. 

a Frank Stout, 

b J. B. Wilson, 

c S. S. Nivison, 

d Barney Weber, 

e Daniel Lawson, 

/ Southworth estate, 

g Depot, 

A Milk Depot, 

i Rockwell's Coal Yard, 

y Chappuis' Coal Yard, 

A Hart's Stock Yard, 

p Old Griswold House. 


West nain Street. 

4 J. H. Frati, harness, 

5 Wflvle's Hotel, 

6 Wm. Mespell, marke 
S J. H. Pratt, store. 

O. C. Sweet, uudertakt 
1 R. Beam, jewelry. 


31 Clias. 

33 Henry Thomas, 

34 IJ. McLachlan, 

36 R. h. Weaver, 

37 A.J.Baker, 

38 Lucien Weaver, drugs, 

39 F. S. Howe, 

40 Isabelle Loriuor, 

41 J. B. Fulkerson, 

42 Dr. J.J. MoutKomery, c 

43 J. R. French, 

44 Dr. J. J. Montgomerv, 

45 E. E. BanSeld, 

46 Grove Hotel, 

53 Mrs. D. F. Van Vleet, 

54 L. D. Mallery, 

56 Chas. M. Perrigo, 

57 Misses S. & L. Tanner, 
59 D. S. Messenger, 

62 D. P. Bartholomew, 

63 G. C. Sweet, 

66 Mrs. M. L. Keeney. 

67 Mrs. Mary Hyde, 

63 Mrs. Abram Hutchiu 

70 D. T. Wheeler, 

71 Geo. W. Bailev, 
73 R. M. West, 

75 Georee Wickham, 

76 A. Bailey, 

77 Miss P. Smith, 

78 Henley Hunter, 

79 George W. Sutfin, 

81 Hugo Dolgc. 

82 Hugo I>olge, residence, 

83 Mrs. M. A. Dean, 
84, 85. 86 Hugo Dolge, 

87, 89, 91 93 Dryden Woolen 

88 Hugo Dolge, woolen mill 

90 W. W. king, planing mill, 

95 A. Hoiipt estate, 

96 W. W. King, 

97 George E. Monroe, 

98 Mrs. Mary Swift, 

107 Robert Schutt, 

108 Sylvester Foster, 

109 Charle; Meade, 

Miss S. S. Nivison, 

2 M. E. l.'hurch, 
5 Former &.Sut6n,und'takers 
7 French Bros., furniture, 
9 Mrs. R A, Dwight,' 

.0 H. H. Ferguson, 

13 Chapman Strong, 

15 Wm. Mespell, 

16 John Munsey, 

21 A. Burlingame estate, 

23 Frank Hutchinson, 

24 Dr. E. D. Allen, 

26 Dr. E. D. Allen, office, 
28 C H. Seamans, 

30 C. H. Se. 
33 D. E. An 

39 Mrs. wjil. 

ine Beattie 


43 Mr 

51 Harrison 

56 James Steele. 

Noi-th Street. 
2 Win H Silcoi, photo., 
4 Williams & Bower, mai 
6 J. H. Pratt, 

10 J. H. Pratt. 

I : Presbyterian Church, 

14 H. C. Loomis, 

16 Mrs. Fred Ward, 

18 Mrs. Lo Vina Lord, 

21 Southw<irth estate, 

22 A M. Clark. 
26 A. M. Clark. 
32 H F. Pratt. 

54 A. D. Burlingame. 

55 Mrs. Mary Burlinga:01 

Elm Street. 
(J. Giles Ford, 
** \ Wm. A. Glazier. 

5 Geo. P. Hatch, 
10 John Tripp, 

12 Mrs. Martha Tyler, 
31 Dryden Herald. 

Library Street. 

4 Opera House, 

6 John Ellis. 

7 R. F. Chappuis, 

8 Dr. F. S. Jennings, 

14 Mrs. Geo. Pratt. 

Qeorge Street [ 

1 Chas. Burghardt, 

2 John D. Lament, 

3 Merritt Tyler, 

5 Lyman Smith, 

6 H. Witty, 

15 Mrs. F. Dutcher. 
17 Wm. Shelton, 

21 George Culver. 

Union Street. 

1 Charles Williams, 

2 J. C. Lormore, 

4 J. D. Lamont, 

5 C. J. Sperry, 

6 Aaron Albright, 

7 Mrs. Mary Tucker, 

8 Darius Givens, 

9 W. H. Sandwick, 

10 Presbyterian parsonage. 

Pleasant Street . 

G. J. Sweetland, 

3 J. A. O'Field, 

4 G. H. Sperry, 

5 John Carpenter, 

6 A. J. Fortner, 

7 Miss A. Mineab, 

8 Mrs. S. Ballard, 

10 Delos Mahan, 

11 Miss Anna Donley, 
14 Scott estate. 

Rochester Street.. 
I Mrs. Abram Hutchin gs, 
3 C. J. Sperry, 
5 Hubbard Lusk, 
7 J. C. Vauderhoef. 

10 W. W. French, 

11 Leander Hutchings, 

19 E. E. Bannell. 

Wall Street. 

1 J. D. Ross, 
4 C. J. Bailey, 
8 J. D. Ross. 

Lewis Street. 

1 D. D. Edwards, 

2 Abram Hutchings, 

4 George Hart, 

5 Fred Sherwood, 

6 D. R. Montgomery, 

7 D. Bartholomew, 

8 D. C. McGregor, 
10 A. C. Rockefeller, 
15 Wm. W. Ellas, 

19 Joseph Basil, 

20 Abram Hunter, 

23 Mrs. Sidney Sorrell, 

24 James Graham, 

25 29, M. Tripp, 
32 R. H. Newsome, 
40 Mrs. John Hunter. 

mil street. 
2 H. A. Lormor, 
4 Arnold Hopkins, 

6 O. Coleman, 

7 George Bradley, 

8 Barney Tyler, 

10 Mrs, Harriet Carpenter, 
14 1. D. Jenks, 

18 E. V. Branch, 

26 Dryden Stone Mill, 

28 Guy Chew, 

29 A. Marsh, 

34 Chas. Lormor. 

Lake Street. 

9 John McKeon, 

11 LP. Ferguson estate, 
13 Edward Swart, 

17 Hiram Pugsley, 

21 John Swart, 

22 John Swart, cidermill, 
25 John Goodwin, 

40 David O'Dell, 
48 J. H. Kennedy, 
50 P. E. Kennedy, 
52 Dryden Tannery. 

Montgomery Street. 
5 Wm. Wheeler, 
II John Sandwick. 

James Street. 
8 D. S. Messenger, 

25 B. Bishop estate, 
31 Charlie Ballard, 
33 Carson Vunk, 

35 A. P. Brown, 

37 Irving Brown, 
43 Wm. H. Moore. 

South Street. 
I Weyant & Kingsbury, hard- 

3 Mrs. W. H. Moore, 

5 W. H. Moore, shoes, 

6 Wheeler & Co., storehouse, 

7 W. H. Moore, residence, 

8 Wheeler & Co., storehouse, 

9 George Cole, residence, 
10 M. Tyler, carriages, 

12 Bailey & Ellison, bl'ksmiths 

13 H Marvin, 

14 S. W. Daniels, shop, 

15 Ellery Vunk, 

16 Firemen's Hall, 

18 Chas. Tanner, 

19 Mrs. . 

21 Chas. Willi. 

22 R. C. Rummer, 

23 J. E. McElheny, 

24 Wm. Tanner, 

25 Geo. E. Goodrich, 

26 Mrs. Chas. LaBarr, 

27 Mrs. A. Hill, 

28 James E. Lormor, 

36 Mrs. Anna Stewart, 

38 Mrs. A. Collings, 
42 Truman Parker, 

46 W. F. Miller, 

47 Dr. Mary Briggs, 

48 S. M. Stanton, 
58 Henry Small, 
64 F. & F. Caswell, 

68 Mrs. Catharine Mellon. 
70 Orris Church estate. 

a Frank Stout, 

i J. B. Wilson, 

c S. S. Nivison, 

d Barney Weber, 

g Daniel Lawson, 

/ Southworth esUte, 

g Depot, 

/• Milk Depot, 

r Rockwell's Coal Yard, 

J Chappuis' Coal Yard, 

t Hart's Stock Yard, 

p Old Griswold House. 




It was the privilege of the writer some years ago to spend an even- 
ing in a small company of former Dryden men at Fargo, North Da- 
liota, Avith John Benton, formerly sheriff of Cortland county, and af- 
terwards for a few years one of the proprietors of the Dryden Hotel 
as a partner with Peter Mineah. On that evening Mr. Benton enter- 
tained the company very agreeably by telling Dryden stories, which 
he can do to perfection, and after keeping his hearers in convulsions 
of laughter for an hour, he concluded by saying that there was no 
place on earth where he had ever been which furnished such a fund 
of anecdotes as Dryden, and among his many excellent characters for 
humorous stories he placed John Tucker, of Dryden, with his inno- 
cent smile and stammering tongue, head and shoulders above all 
others. If my readers could have listened to the genial ex-sheriff on 
the evening in question while he was giving his recollections of some 
of the humorous incidents of his sojourn in Dryden village, I think 
they would readih' accede to the truth of his conclusions. 

It is designed in this chapter briefly to give a very few samples of 
some of the true anecdotes which are connected with the history of 
Dryden village. 

The first one concerns Parley Whitmore, who, as we have seen, was 
the postmaster and justice of the peace located at the " Corners " in 
pioneer times. Among the numerous attendants at his court upon 
the occasion in question were the two McKee brothers, James and 
Robert, who lived north of the village and who are the ancestors of 
many of the present inhabitants of Dryden. In some way these two 
brothers were very much displeased with something which occurred 
I)efore the justice at this time and they had not much ability or dis- 
position to conceal their displeasure. 80 excited did Jimmy become 
that in giving vent to his feelings upon the subject he used profane 
language in the very presence of the court. This could not be toler- 
ated or overlooked, and the justice arraigned the culprit on the spot, 
imposing a fine of one dollar upon Jimmy for contempt of court. 
This produced quiet in the court room, but the two brothers were 
more angry than ever, fairly ready to burst with suppressed indigna- 
tion, when Robert, who had the most money but who was the less 
fluent in his speech of the two, stepped forward and laid down on the 
table before the court one dollar in payment of the fine, and started to 


put up bis pocket-book ; but upou second thought he opened it again^ 
taking out this time a live-dollar bill which he plumped down before 
the court and turned triumphantly to his brother, saying, " Now, Jim- 
my, swear 3'our till. " 

It was before the same Justice AVhitmore that at one time in the 
early days of Dryden a rather pompous individual whom we will call 
Mr. T., stepped up in the presence of a crowd of spectators and asked,. 
" 'Squire how much will it cost me to knock down Jim Beam? " Jus- 
tice Whitmore, who seems to have had souje common sense as well as 
a knowledge of the rules of justice, answered rather officiously some- 
what as follows ; " It would be improper, Mr. T., for me to fix in ad- 
vance the penalty for such an offense, but I will say that in my judg- 
ment an attempt on your part to commit the crime which you mention 
would cost you among other things a good threshing." 

As illustrating the state of school discipline in our early times, 
which we are happy to be able to say has sustained some improve- 
ment since then, we relate an incident which occurred in the old 
schoolhouse on Mill street, which was located where the John Gress- 
house now stands. A "man" teacher was commonly employed in the 
winter term, whose duty it was to train the older boys, many of whom 
could attend only in the winter season, and lucky indeed was the 
teacher who was not turned out of the schoolhouse before the first 
warm days of spring called them back to their work on the farm. 

One winter over fifty years ago Nehemiah Curtis was the name of 
the teacher, and so faithful had been his work and so gentlemanly his 
bearing that all the scholars liked him and the last day of school ap- 
proached without any serious difliculty. In view of the fact it was de- 
cided to have some special exercises upon the last day and the schol- 
ars on the day before trimmed up the school room with evergreens 
procured from the woods, which were then not far away. But on the 
morning in question when the teacher and pupils, dressed in their 
best apparrel for the occasion, entered the schoolhouse they were 
met at the door by two cows, one belonging to Abraham Tanner and 
the other to James Patterson, which had been locked in oyer night 
and had browsed and trampled down the trimmings and mussed up 
the school room generally. The good-natured teacher's high hopes of 
ending the term prosperously were thus suddenly crushed and he was 
about to give up in disgust when the better disposed pupils ofi'ered to 
take hold and repair the damage so far as possible and clean out the 
school room for the exercises, which they did. Of course no one knew 
who the guilty culprits Avere who caused the mischief, although great 


efforts were made at the time to ascertain, but one of our present 
peace officers of the town now admits that he then persuaded his 
" best girl" to falsely represent to his inquiring- parents that he spent 
the evening in question with her in order to shield him from the sus- 
picion of having been among those who introduced the cows into the 

One short stor}^ must be told of John Tucker as a sample of his 
read}^ wit and stammering tongue, although we cannot undertake to 
convey to the reader who has not seen it an adequate conception of 
the innocent smile which lights up his countenance upon these occa- 
sions. The incident which we shall attempt to relate has in its repeti- 
tion been associated with different individuals, which is immaterial, 
for in all versions of it the part of the essential character, John, is the 
same. For the benefit of those readers who are not acquainted with 
him it must be stated that John is a great trapper and his favorite 
game is the skunk. He is thoroughly acquainted with the haunts and 
habits of these peculiar animals and derives no little revenue annually 
from the sale of their pelts which he thus collects and which are quite 
valuable for fur. 

One day in the spring when John was looking over his stock of skins- 
in compan}- with a friend, his next neighbor, Mrs. Dupee, hap])ened 
out at the back door near Avhere they were and inquired incidentally 
of John how many skunks he had caught that season, to which he re- 
plied, "Twenty." She went in-doors and a few minutes later her hus- 
band, William Dupee, came along and he asked John how many 
skunks he had caught that season, to which he readily replied, " F-f- 
forty-five." After William had disappeared his friend remonstrated 
with John for showing such disregard for the truth and giving such 
contradictory statements concerning the result of his winter's trapping,, 
when he replied with an innocent smile on his face, *' Why, B-b-ill can 
stand more s-s-skunks than she can ! " 



As we have alreadj^ seen, the pioneer log cabin of the township, 
after it had ceased to be used as a place of habitation by Amos Sweet, 
became its first schoolhouse in the year 1804, with Daniel Lacy serv- 
ing in it as the first schoolmaster of Dryden. Imagine the children of 
the pioneers Avho first settled about "Dryden Corners" coming togeth- 


er to receive their first school education and couoregatiiig in a room 
ten feet square inside, with one door and one window without sash or 
glass, and no stove, but a fire-place made of a few hardliead stones 
placed together, and no chimney but a hole in the roof for the smoke 
to pass out. The next teacher at the "Corners," of which we have 
any note, was Charles Grinnell, who came from Columbia county early 
in the century and taught school, boarding with John Southworth be- 
fore he built his brick house in 1836. But the first account which 
we are able to give of the schoolhouses of the village brings us down 
to near the middle of the century, when there were two public school 
buildings, one being a wood-colored house on South street where the 
Marvin house is now located and the other a red schoolhouse on 
Mill street, which has since been remodeled where it stood, into what 
is now known as the John Gress house. 

There was also another school building which stood on the site now 
occupied by the residence of Charles Perrigo, on the corner of Main 
and Lewis streets, but this accommodated a private school and here 
the celebrated criminal, Rulofi", in the year 1842, served as a teacher 
for a short time, and here, over fift}^ years ago, a very capable teacher 
by the name of Burhans trained the youth of the village. 

This building had a belfrey and bell but was afterward used as a 
shop and was finally destroyed by fire. About the year 1850 a new 
union school house was built, taking the place of the others, on the 
lot now occupied by Daniel Bartholomew as a residence. The up- 
right part of this building, which Avas an imposing edifice at the time, 
now serves as the plaster and lime storehouse of G. M. Rockwell, 
near the railroad depot, and one of its wings is the Wall house on 
Wall street. Here various principals of the district school ably pre- 
sided and succeeded each other, including a Mr. Starr, Mills Van 
Valkenburgh and finally George E. Monroe, Esq., avIio continued to 
teach there until the Union Free School District was organized in 

About the year 1860 Jackson Graves from Pottsville, Pa., who had 
then recently married Mary J. Bishop, who was a very capable and an 
excellent Dryden teacher, purchased the site of the present public 
school property in Dryden village, and erected the present academy 
building, which was known as the Dryden Seminary, conducting it as 
a private school enterprise under their efficient management for about 
ten years, when the property was purchased by the school district 
-and has since been maintained as a public Union Free School and 
Academy. Prof. Graves had in the meantime been elected School 



Commissioner of the second district of Tompkins count}', and has 
since resided in the town of Danhy, his first wife having- died in 1892. 
Mr. and Mrs. Graves will long be remembered by the present genera- 
tion of Drj'den village as faithful and efficient teachers. 

Since the establishment of the Union Free School the standard of 
educational advantages in the village has not been allowed to fall, and 
many excellent teachers have served the disti'ict, including Charles 
A. Fowler, afterwards principal of the Biughamton city schools, Fran- 
cis J. Cheney, Ph. D., 
now principal of the 
Normal School at 
Cortland, and Herbert 
M. Lovell, since prin- 
cipal of the Elmira 
Academy and now an 
attorney and counsel- 
or of that cit3^ Dr. 
Wm. Fitch, George E. 
Goodrich and George 
E. Monroe have suc- 
cessively served as 
presidents of the 
Board of Education. 

The First Presbyte- 
rian societ}- of Dryden 
was organized Febru- 
ary 17th, 1808, with 
the following charter 
members : John Ter- 
penning, Juliana Ter- 
j , „ penning, James Wood, 

"^ * " ■' '" '"" '"^'^ Sarah Wood, Stephen 

Tin; ri:F.snvTKi;iAN chuech. Myrch, Rebecca 

Myrcli, Benjamin Simons, Isabel Simons, Derick Sutfin, Elizabeth 
Topping, Abram Griswold, Asenath Griswold and Jerusha Taylor. 
The first services were held at the home of Mr. Serren H. Jagger, a 
shoemaker in Dryden village, and in the barns of Thomas Southworth 
and Elias W. Cady at Willow Glen. The church edifice was com- 
menced in 1819 and completed in 1824 under great difficulties. 

It was extensively repaired in 1847 and again in 1861, and with some 
recent improvements now appears as represented in the accompanying 



Tiew. In the year 1851 a town clock was purchased by subscription 
and placed in the tower of this building and we are, fortunately, able 
to give from the old suscription paper the names of the subscribers 
and amounts contributed for that purpose, wdiich are as follows : 

Thomas Lewis, U 00 
John C. Lacy, 3 00 

Enos Wheeler, 5 00 
Eowen Sweetland, 2 00 
Daken & Stebbins, 2 00 
Thomas Jameson, 3 50 
Eriggs & Goodyear, 1 00 
Collin Robinson, 2 00 
John South worth,10 00 

Jacob Stickles, 
S. Cleveland, 
Ralph Barnum, 
Wm. Holmes, 
H. H. Ferguson, 
Milo Goodrich, 
S. Goddard, 
Leonard Griswold, 

2 00 

Bradford Kennedy, 1 00 
Joel Bishop, 3 00 

Abraham Tanner, 1 00 
B. W. Squires, 2 00 
Wyatt Allen, 2 00 

John R. Lacy, 3 00 

Hiram Bouton, $2 00 Timothy Cross, $ 50 

D. J. Baker. 3 00 

W. S. Moffat, 1 50 
Joseph McGraw, 1 00 
Michael Butts, 2 00 
Geo. Truesdell, 1 00 
Orrin Wheeler, 1 00 
D. P. Goodhue, 50 
G. D. Pratt, 4 00 

Otis Murdock, 1 00 
Wm. Hazlett, 1 00 
L. J. L. Bates, 1 00 
Amos Lewis, 2 00 
A. H. Phillips, 1 00 
W^illet Ellis, 2 00 

J. W. Dwight, 2 00 
I. P. Ferguson, 1 00 
John Ercanbrack 1 00 
Gordon Johnson, 1 00 
Stickle Hamblin, 50 
Stephen Emory, 1 00 
D. Bartholomew, 1 00 
H. C. Beach, 1 00 

Lewis Barton 
Wm. Ercanbrack, 
Darius Givens, 
Wm. H. Miller, 
T. Burr, 
Isaac Ferguson, 

4 00 



2 00 

J. W. Montgomery3 00 
Pardon Tabor, " 5 00 
Abram Emory, 1 00 
P. M. Blodgett, 5 00 
A. Foster, 10 00 

L. B. Corbin, 4 00 
J. H. Hurd, 3 00 

E. A. Givens, 1 00 
A. L. Bushnell, 5 00 
Wm. F. Tanner, 1 00 
S. S. Bunnel, 2 00 

S. & C. Bradshaw,2 00 
Gardner West, 50 

S. T. Wilson, 2 00 
Jesse Givens, 2 00 
Jacob Prame, 1 00 

We are thus able to give the names of the public spirited citizens 
who resided in and about Dryden village about fifty years ago, re- 
calling to the memory of old residents many familiar faces, only a 
very few of which can be seen among us to-day. 

The list of the ministers who have succeeded each other at this 
church is also here given and is as follows : 

Nathan B. DarroAv, 
William Williston, 
Joshua Lane, 
Timothy Tuttle, 
William Miller, 
Samuel Parker, 
Elnathan Walker, 
Reuben Hurd, 
Isaac Patterson, 
Samuel Robertson, 

Luther Clark, 
George W. Pruden, 
H. P. Crozier, 
R. S. Eggleston, 
F. Hendricks, 
Charles Kidder, 
A. V. H. Powell, 
W. G. Hubbard, 
A. McDougall, 
J V. C. Nellis, 

Geo. R. Smith, 
Anson G. Chaster, 
Charles Ray, 
E. W. Root, 
G. H. Dunning, 
C. O. Hanmer, 
G. V. Reichel, 
Fred L. Hiller, 
Oliver T. Mather. 



A Methodist Episcopal class was first organized at Dryden Corners 
about tlie year 1816, Avitli ISelden Marvin, Edward Hunting, and Abra- 
ham Tanner among the original members. They had no church build- 
ing until about 1832 when a church society was organized with the 
following; charter members : 

Parley Whitmore, 
J. W. Montgomery, 
Daniel Godfrey, 
Pliilo Godfrey, 
Daniel Coleman, 

Selden Marvin, 
Robert Dier, 
M. C. Brown, 
Elias Ferguson, 
Andrew Guile, 

Asa Phillips, 
George Carr, 
Erastus Bement, 
Abraham Tanner. 
Pardon Tabor. 

Their church edifice erected in 1832 Avas destroyed by fire in 1873, 
while being repaired and enlarged, and the present building, a view of 
which is given on page 10-, was erected in the following year at an ex- 
pense of about eleven thousand dollars. 

The clergymen who have supplied this chui'ch are as follows : 

J. T. Peck, 
Wm. Bailey, 
M. Westcott, 
P. R. Kinne, 
M. Adams, 
M. W. Rundell, 

C. W. Harris, 
W. H. Pearne, 
H. E. Luther, 

D. Lamkins, 
George Parsons, 
W. W. Rundell, 
A. Gross, 


Wm. C. Cobb, 
C. W. Harris, 

O. M. McDowell, 
S. B. Porter, 
O. Hesler, 
E. Owen, 
L. D. Tryon, 
S. Minier, 
M. M. Tooke, 
E. G. Curtis, 
T. D. Wire, 
J. H. Barnard, 
E. Owen, 
B. Shove, 
L. Hartsough, 
A. L. Lusk, 
Selah Stocking, 
H. Meeker, 

David Keppel, 

I. Harris, 

James Gutsell, 

W. H. Goodwin, L. L. D. 

M. S. Wells, 

David Keppel, 

Robert Townsend, 

S. S. Barter, 

James R. Drake, 

R. N. Leake, 

J. H. Ross, 

A. C. Willev, 

W^orth M. Tippy, 

J. W. Terry, 

George Britten, 

C. W. Walker. 

The first death in Dryden village was probably of some member of 
the family of Amos Sweet, all of whom are said to be buried in the 
grounds opposite to the Dryden Springs Sanitarium. Tradition in- 
forms us that a grave-yard was early started near the corner of Main 
and Mill streets and some evidence of this fact was recently found 
when the village water pipes were being laid in that locality. The 
early habit of using private family burying grounds has already been 
referred to and the first public ground of which we have any record in 
the village was located on the gravel knoll west of the fair-grounds. 
How early this site was in use we are unable to determine, but a deed 


from Abram Griswold to the Trustees of the First Preshyterian Soci- 
ety of Drvden of an acre of land in this locality bears date February 
10, 1830, and contains this commendable statement from the grantor : 
" The true intent and meaning of this indenture of said piece of laud 
is that all sects and denominations have the privilege of burying their 
dead and using the same as a burying ground." Probably the use 
of this site as a burial ground for the inhabitants of the village ante- 
dated this public dedication of it for that purpose. More laud was af- 
terwards added but no incorporation was perfected, and the locality is 
now neglected and abandoned as a cemetery, and has grown up to a 
second wilderness; some graves marked by dilapidated stones re- 
main, while numerous pit-holes here and there show where the re- 
mains of others have been taken up to be removed to more oodern 
cemeteries. A visit to this locality, where many of the pioneers of 
Dryden still lie buried, will afford striking suggestions of the brevity 
of human life and of the rapidity with which after death our mortal 
remains will be absorbed by mother earth, and the places which once 
knew us will know us no more. The gravel from the parts of this- 
knoll which have not been used for burial purposes is now being rap- 
idly removed for tilling and grading purposes and the existence of a 
burial place there is likely to be entirely forgotten. 

In the year 1863 the people of the village united to organize a ceme- 
tery association and to purchase a new site for a ]3ermanent cemetery. 
The Green Hills cemetery is the result, located in tbe southwest sec- 
tion of the village and comprising nearly fifty acres of land only a 
small part of which has yet been used for burial purposes. The site 
is upon the highest ground in the corporate limits of the village, so 
that the home of the dead commands a beautiful view of the homes 
and business places of the living. The association has been some- 
what crippled in its operations by a considerable indebtedness in- 
curred in the purchase of its extensive grounds, but this debt is now 
bein- paid off and great improvements have been made m opening 
and-rading its main avenue, to the site, which is remarkably adapted 
by nature for this purpose and which will in time be so improved as 
to be one of the most commodious and beautiful cemeteries to be 
found in a country village. 




If any cue could have claim- 
ed to unite in her veins the 
tlow of the blue blood of Dry- 
deu pioneer aristocracy, that 
person was Jennie McGraAV- 
Fiske. Her great-grandfather 
was Judge Ellis, " King of 
Dryden " in its early years. 
Her grandfather was John 
Sonthworth, Dr3'den's million- 
aire farmer, while her father 
was John McGraw, Dryden's 
barefooted farmer boy in 1827, 
who soon after commenced his 
business career as a clerk in a 
Dryden store at eight dollars 
per month, becoming later a 
Dryden merchant, and after a 
life of great business activity 
and success died possessed of 
an estate worth two millions. 
She was born in the house on North street in Dryden village now 
owned and occupied by Mrs. E. H. Lord, nearly opposite to the South- 
worth homestead, in September, 1840. Her mother died and her 
father moved from Dryden before she was ten years of age. She 
was educated at Canandaigua and at a school in Westchester county. 
Her health being always delicate, she was encouraged to gratify her 
taste for foreign tiavel, which she did, first visiting Europe when 
about twenty years of age, and several times afterwards. 

Of her marriage to Prof. Willard Fiske in 1880 and her death in 
the following year, which was subsequently followed b}^ the cele- 
brated litigation as the result of which the bequest of the bulk of her 
estate to Coriiell University was defeated, we need not speak here at 

In the distribution of the estate of her grandfather, John South- 
worth, she received a share as representing her deceased mother, and 
it seems to have been her desire to return to Dryden village a sub- 

: ^^L 


[ - : 



stantial memorial to her orandfather out of this portion of lier estate, 
for in her will she makes the following provision : 

" I give and bequeath unto Jeremiah W. Dwight, John E. McEl- 
lien}- and Dr. J. J. Montgomery, all of Drjden, N. Y., the sum of thir- 
ty thousand dollars, in trust, for the following uses and purposes, to 
wit : I desire that they, with such associates as they may select, 
shall procure, under the laws of the State of New York, a corporation 
or association to be organized at Dryden aforesaid under the name of 
The Southworth Library Association, the object and purpose whereof 
shall be the building, support and maintenance of a pulilic library in 
the said village of Dryden ; that said trustees shall transfer said trust 
funds to said association upon the trust and condition that not more 
than iifteen thousand dollars of said sum shall be expended in real 
estate, buildings and furniture, and that the remainder shall consti- 
tute a fund to be invested and the interest or income thereof to be ap- 
plied to the purchase of books and other necessary expenses of said 
association, excluding, however, salaries of officers and pay of servants 

" If this purpose be not accomplished within three years after my 
death the trust shall cease and the fund shall be paid to and distribut- 
ed with my residuary estate. " 

In pursuance of this bequest the Southworth Library Association 
was incorporated April 22, 1883, with Jeremiah W. Dwight, John E. 
McElheu}', John J. Montgomery, Henry B. Napier and Erastus S. 
Rockwell as incorporators. In the following 3'ear the Baucus proper- 
ty on the corner of South and Union streets was purchased and re- 
modeled so as to afford temporary accommodations for the Library, 
and here it was first opened to the public September 25, 1884. 

For about ten years the Library was accommodated in a portion of 
this building, the rent of the remainder, which was leased for a dwell- 
ing, being used to pay the expense of emplojnng a librarian. 

In the meantime a permanent site was purchased on the new corner 
on Main street formed by opening Library street, and a fine, substan- 
tial building here erected of which we are able to give the accompa- 
nying pictorial illustration. 

It is constructed of Ohio sandstone in a very thorough and sub- 
stantial manner at an expense of about fifteen thousand dollars. The 
building is fire-proof and includes commodious and elegant reading 
rooms. Here the trustees intend, among other things, to provide for 
a collection of historical relics, which will be securely preserved for 
future generations. The structure was completed in the year 1894, 



•since which time there has been presented to the association and 
phiced in the tower of the buikling, a Seth Thomas clock, the gift of 
Mrs. D. F. Van Vleet, of Ithaca, as a memorial of her parents, Mr. and 
Mrs. John C Lac}-, who were for a long time residents of Dryden. 

Some unhappy differences of opinion among the citizens of the vil- 
lage as to the intention of Mrs. Fiske in excluding from the purposes 
for which the funds of her gift could he used " the salaries of officers 
and servants thereof " has caused the building to be closed for some 


portion of the time, for the lack of a provision, as the trustees claim, 
for the employment and pay of a janitor and librarian, and these ques- 
tions are not yet settled to the satisfaction of all ; but it is believed 
that these matters will soon be determined by the courts or otherwise. 
According to the last report of the librarian, in the month of April, 
1897, the number of volumes in the Library was 6994. These vol- 
umes comprise a careful selection of the best works in the whole field 
of literature, including the latest editions of all standard authorities. 
The invested interest-bearing funds of the association now amount to 


about seventeen thousand dollars, the income from which is to be de- 
voted principally to the purchase of books and will continue to sup- 
ply the reading matter best adapted to the wants of the people in 
ever-increasing accumulations of the best works of the best authors. 
Prof. Willard Fiske, although sojourning in Italy for the past few 
years, has been made a trustee of the association and has shown his 
interest m the institution by presenting to the Library a valuable and 
unique set of the complete works of the bard, John Dryden. The fol- 
lowing is a list of the present ofhcers and trustees of the association i 


John E. McElheny, President, D. R. Montgomery, 

Dr. J. J. Montgomery, Vice-President, John W. Dwight, 

Dr. F. S. Jennings, Secretary, D. E. Bower, 
Willard Fiske. 

Treasurer, - - - - - H. B. Lord 



A stranger now passing through the quiet locality of our town which 
formerly was known as " Stickles's Corners, " but latterly called by the 
more romantic name of " Willow Glen, " upon looking about him 
would naturally inquire, " Where are the willows and where is the 
glen?" for both are at present a little obscure. It is said, however, 
that over fifty years ago, when this name was first applied to the local- 
ity by one of its inhabitants. Miss Huldah Phillips, the banks of the 
little stream which flows down through the " Corners " from the hill- 
side were lined with large willow trees, forming with them a glen 
which made the name very appropriate. 

As we have already seen, the settlement of Willow Glen dates back 
as early as 1798, when three of the very earliest pioneer families of 
the town located there, and during all of the Pioneer Period it was a 
formidable rival of Dryden village. During that time it contained a 
tanner^' upon what was afterwards the Phillips corner, a grist mill 
(one of the earliest in town), and two saw-mills (one of which was the 
earliest in town, being completed in 1802), upon Virgil Creek, two 
stores, two distilleries, one hotel, a blacksmith shop, an ashery and a 
large wagon shoj^, all constituting a good business equipment for a 


new country settlement. One by one these elements of business have 
disappeared, and all which now remains in that line is the old black- 
smith shop, converted in these latter days into the factory and store- 
house of Mosso's Tempering Compound, and the wagon shop across 
the way conducted by Andrew Simons. W^illow Glen has always had 
and still maintains a good school, and with it is connected an incident 
which is still remembered by some of the oldest inhabitants, who were 
children when the events took place. It is the " Story of the Bison " 
and reads as follows : 

On a certain autumnal Saturday afternoon about seventy-five or 
more years ago two men entered Willow Glen by the highway from 
the west, leading between them a wild, shagg3' animal, a buffalo re- 
cently captured on the prairies, being tlie first one seen in this part 
of the country. They stopped at the hotel, then kept by William 
Wigton, in whose barn they exhibited the buftalo to those who would 
pay ten cents for the opportunity of seeing him. During the after- 
noon the school was let out — Saturday was a school da}^ in those 
times — and some of the scholars had ten cents with which to purchase 
the privilege of seeing the exhibition, but many others did not, and as 
an inducement to the owners of the animal the older school boys pro- 
posed that those who could should pay, but that all of the school 
children should see the buffalo ; but the proposition was not accept- 
ed and none of the scholars were admitted to the barn. As night ap- 
proached, Mr. Wigton, who had overheard some plans among the boys, 
who were displeased with the rejection of their proposition, informed 
the proprietors that he would lock up the barn at night but he would 
not be responsible for what might happen to the buffalo. They re- 
2olied that there was no danger that any one would molest the animal 
for it was all that they could do to manage him and no one else would 
venture to undertake it. 

Matters were left in this way, but in the morning the l)arn doors 
were open and the buffalo was gone, no one knew where. There was 
a long watering trough which extended into the barn and some one 
during the night had drawn the plug, letting the water out so that 
he could enter the barn through the empty trough and unfasten the 
doors from within. The proprietors in vain spent the morning look- 
ing after the source of their income, but no track or trace of him could 
be found. 

Early that morning Darius J. Clement, the old gentleman who died 
a few years ago in Dryden village, but who was then a boy living with 
his parents \kdiere John Card now resides, went out before it was fair- 


ly daylight to the barn to do the milking. He returned soon after 
saying to his parents that he believed the Evil One himself had taken 
possession of the barn during the night, for such pawing and bellow- 
ing, by a large animal with short horns, a large shaggy head, fierce, 
glaring eyes and a long tail, he had never seen or heard of before. 
Mr. Clement, who was a ver^^ religious man, decided that the Sab- 
bath was no time to investigate the matter and directed that nothing 
should be done with the animal until the next day. But the news 
began to be circulated that the buffalo was m the barn of Mr. Clement 
and the people from all about began to congregate so that by noon 
all the men and boys from the neighborhood were assembled, and Mr. 
Clement was very willing that the cause of the disturbance should be 
removed. Some of the boys, presumably the same who had brought 
him there in the night, readily undertook the task of removing him 
and in so doing they led him through a clearing in which a vicious 
bull was being pastured. No sooner did the bull see the intruder of 
something like his own species approaching than he came rushing 
toward them ready for a contest for supremacy. Those who then bad 
charge of the buffalo were ver}- willing to let go their hold, which 
they did, thereby having the fun of witnessing a Sunday bull figlit. 
The result proved that the buffalo, with his short horns and wild, vig- 
orous habits, was too much for his domesticated cousin, who was com- 
pelled to recognize the superiority^ of the intruder. The fun being 
over the boys returned the buffalo to his owners, who went on their 
way sadder if not wiser men. 

Willow Glen, as well as the northwest corner of the township,, 
claims a share in the invention of the power threshing machine, an 
inventive genius by the name of Miller having there developed one of 
the first threshing machines ever seen, which, with subsequent im- 
provements, has revolutionized that part of the farmer's labor. 

We have as yet failed to secure very satisfactory notes of the pion- 
eer families of Willow Glen. Of the first three families to locate there 
in 1798, so far as we are able to learn, the Clausons have no descend- 
ants now residing in town, while Ezekiel Sanford and David Foote are 
the ancestors of quite a number of the present inhabitants. John 
Southworth, whose father, Thomas Southworth, came to Willow Glen 
in 1806, will be the subject of a separate chapter. Joshua Phillips, 
who owned and perhaps built the tannery on the now vacant corner 
of Willow Glen, was early a prominent citizen, being a Member of 
Assembly from this county in 1820 and a supervisor of the town in 
1839. He came to Dryden from Nassau, Rensselaer county, about 


1806, or, as some sa}^ in 1811, and was a major in the State Militia. 
His wife, whom he married in Rensselaer county, was Huldah Bram- 
liall, a very estimable wife and mother. They had no daughters, l^ut 
twelve sons, one of whom, Archibald, now resides on the former home- 
stead of his father-in-law, Peter Mulks, near Slaterville, and another, 
Albert, who married into the Twogood family, is still living at Merton, 
Waukesha county, Wis., 91 years of age, with another brother, Henry, 
whose age is 80. Among the others was George W. Phillips, who 
was once prominent in business in Dryden village. Joseph Bram- 
hall, a brother of Mrs. Phillips, was a carpenter and an early resident 
of Willow Glen, leaving children who still perpetuate from him the 
name of Bramhall. He was an assessor of the town at the time of his 
death, which resulted from consumption. His widow afterwards mar- 
ried Israel Hart and became the mother of Chas. I. Hart, of Dryden. 
We have already mentioned Elias W. Cady as a prominent citizen in 
public affairs, Member of Assembly, supervisor and first president of 
the Dryden Agricultural Societ}^ who died in 1883 at the age of nine- 
ty-one years. He came here from Columbia county in 1816, and also 
married into the Bramhall family. His oldest son, Oliver, recently 
died, but his youngest son, Charles Cad}', of Auburn, N. Y., and daugh- 
ters, Rebecca A. (Dwight), Harriet S. (Ferguson), and Mary Cady, all 
of Dryden village, are still living. His daughter Sarah (Wilson) died, 
leaving numerous descendants now residing in the town. Aaron Fos- 
ter was not a pioneer of Dryden, but settled in the year 1829 upon the 
farm which he sold to Joseph McGraw, where, for a number of years, 
he operated the lumber and grist mills of Willow Glen, there still be- 
ing no grist mill in Dryden village, and later he removed to the village. 
His daughter was the wife of Geo. D. Pratt and his son, A. H. Foster, 
of Superior, Wis., was one of our guests at the Centennial Celebration. 

Aaron Lacy, from New Jersey, settled on the Stickles corner in 
1799. His only surviving child, John R, Lacy, afterwards lived and 
died on the corner still held by his family one mile north of Dryden 

Willow Glen has had no churches, but the barn of Elias W. Cady 
afforded the Presbyterian society accommodations for preaching and 
communion service before their building was completed in Dryden 

The inhabitants have suffered somewhat from religious fanatics, the 
first visitation being from a band of some fifty "Pilgrims," as they 
called themselves, Avho came from Vermont in 1818, and are thus de- 
scribed by the '" Old Man in the Clouds :" "When they moved in they 


had several wagons, some of •svliicli were drawn l)y four horses. One 
team carried the large tent beneath which the entire family was 
housed in all kinds of weather. The name of their Prophet was Thad- 
deus Cummins, a very stout, healthy and well proportioned man, with 
sandy hair, and about thirty-tive years of age. The name of the 
woman whom he brought as his wdfe was Luc}'. A priest also ac- 
companied the Prophet, whose name was Joseph Ball. There were 
some two or three brothers by the name of Slack ; the rest of the 
company was made up of the off-scoiirings of wretched humanity. 
When the Prophet and his followers arrived near the residence of 
David Foote they pitched their tent and rested over night, but moved 
the next day into the woods then on the Stickles farm, where they re- 
mained a week, when the}^ again moved upon the north bank of Fall 
Creek near the former residence of Jacob Updike. Here this singu- 
lar people remained for fully six weeks, practicing all kinds of deviltry 
upon themselves and the people in the neighborhood. They had no 
beds, but slept in nests of straw, each sex in common with the other, 
they having no belief in or respect for the marriage ceremony. They 
did not believe in beds, chairs, or tables. They stood up to eat and 
sucked food through a goose quill, and could not be persuaded to eat 
in any other way. They wore large white cloths upon their backs, 
which, as they said, w^ere marks for the Devil to shoot at. Their an- 
tipathy against the Devil was very great and every morning early they 
might be heard howling and yelling like a parcel of wolves for two 
miles around, driving the Devil out of their camp." 

When they left town they went to an island in the INJississippi river> 
unfortunately inducing some Dryden and moiie Lansing people to fol- 
low them, where they finally disbanded. They sihould not be con- 
founded with the " Taylorites," who flourished here later and some 
of whom afterwards joined the Shakers. 

There is perhaps no better index of the degree of thrift and reline- 
ment which exists in a community than the condition of its grave- 
3fards. The principal burial place now used by the people of Dryden 
at large is the Willow Glen Cemetery, located very near the center of 
the town, the Green Hill Cemetery in Dryden village being patronized 
more especially by the residents of that village. Both are laid out 
and maintained in a manner indicative of the prosperity and intellect- 
ual culture of the people of the township. The former, which we now 
consider, has been especially fortunate in its financial management 
and the devotion wdiich its officers and friends have shown in its de- 
velopment. It already has a surplus fund of over three thousand dol- 


lars, invested at interest, and this surplus has been for the past few 
years rapidly increasing from the sale of lots. The interest from this 
money, with such contributions as are added to it, enables the officers 
to keep its beautiful grounds, consisting of about thirteen acres, in ex- 
cellent condition, and for a countr}' burying ground it has few rivals 
either in the natural beauty and extent of its grounds or in the good 
taste exhibited in its adornment. 

The older section was used as a burial place early in the century, 
some inscriptions recording deaths as early as 1816, and in this sec- 
tion the remains of Judge Ellis and Esquire McElheny, whose deaths 
occurred in 1846 and 1836, and Aaron Lacy, the original owner, who 
died and was buried there in 1826, were deposited before the present 
extension of its territory was contemplated. But in 1864 the friends 
of the enterprise perfected an organization, and subscribed, as a fund 
for purchasing additional ground, about one thousand dollars, which 
was contributed by the following inhabitants : 

Wm. Hanford, 

- $100 

Samuel Rowland, - 

- 100 

■Geo. A. Ellis, - 


Thos. Jameson, Sr., 


Mrs. Olive Lewis, - 

- 50 

Jonathan Rowland, 

- 50 

Huldah Stickles, 


Geo. Hanford, - 


Anson Stickles, 

- 50 

Zephaniah Lupton, - 

- 50 

Ered Hanford, - 


Artemas Smiley, 


Amos Lewis, 


John R. Lacy, 

- 50 

Darius J. Clement, 


All these sums have since been repaid by the sale of lots or in other 
ways so that the society is now entirely out of debt with the surplus 
above indicated and considerable territory still available for the sale 
of lots. The principal officers at present are, Moses Rowland, presi- 
dent ; Theron Johnson, treasurer ; Geo. E. Hanford, secretary. 



Some statements contained in " The Landmarks of Tompkins Coun- 
ty " would seem to indicate that the earliest settler located at West 
Dry den before the year 1800. The proximity of this part of the town 
to Lansing, which, from its location on the lake, was reached by the pi- 
oneers some years before Dryden was accessible, gave plausibility to 
these statements, but a patient and careful investigation of the subject 


establishes the fact that the pioneer first to locate at " Fox's Corners," 
as it was known in early times, was Evert Mount, who came in the year 
1801 or 1802. He was folloAved by Jacob Primrose and Samuel Fox. 
Mr. Mount, who was a blacksmith, built his cabin and shop on the 
southwest corner, while Primrose first occupied the southeast and Fox 
located on the northwest corner a few rods from where the church 
now stands. Some rivalry is said to have existed among this trio of 
pioneers as to which should give the new settlement its name, Mr. 
Mount suggesting "Mount Pleasant," and Primrose, "Primrose Hill," 
but Fox carried off the honors and "Fox's Corners" it was called until 
a postoffice was established under the name of West Dryden, Decem- 
ber 23, 1825. Many, however, still know it best by its original name, 
which still clings to it, and letters yet occasionally find their Avay to 
the postoffice addressed "Fox's Corners, N. Y." 

It is remembered that before the postoffice was established here the 
mail was delivered from house to house, being brought from Ithaca 
once a week by a man named Hagin, who made his trips on horse- 
back, and who finally while performing this duty was throAvn from his 
horse and killed. 

From 1816 to 1840 West Dryden was a business place of some note^ 
supporting good stores, shops, hotels and the like. It is supposed 
that Daniel C. Carr kept the first store, carrying on in connection with 
it an " ashery " at which " pearlash," a crude form of saleratus, was 
manufactured. Lumber, shingles, ashes and barter of all kinds were 
taken in exchange for " store goods," and the space surrounding a 
country store in those days had much the appearance of latter day 
lumber yards. Carr was succeeded by Israel Hoy, who became the 
first postnaster in 1825, and built and kept the first hotel, dealing 
largely in lum]3er. As store-keeper he was followed by Reed S: San- 
ders, after whom came Robert T. Shaw and Parley Guinnip and later 
Lykin & Hance, Lykin & George and H. H. George. 

Charles W. Sanders, author of Sanders's series of school books, re- 
sided at West Dryden several years, during which time he completed 
his " First Speller." John Barber did a large carriage making business 
at an early day and James Youngs manufactured large quantities of 
broad and narrow axes, adzes, chisels, augers, etc., besides furnishing 
the usual products of a smith's shop. 

The first phj^sician was Dr. Harvey Harris, registered at Ithaca in 
1828, who Avas followed by Doctors Baldwin, White, Barker, Howell 
and Pelton, all of whom were here prior to 1840. 

The first school house was a log building located one-half mile west 



of the " Corners" directly across the road from Avhere A. W. George 
now lives. This was built in 1806 or 1807. No roads had as yet been 
opened to many of the settlers' cabins, and children had often to lind 
their way to ischool a long distance through a dense forest by means of 
blazed trees. In a few years, the school was removed to the corners 
and a large frame building erected which was used for school purpos- 
es on week days and for church service on Sunday. This was soon 
followed by a building on the northeast corner and later by one on the 

present site. The pres- 
ent school building is 
the tiftli which has been 
used for school purpos- 
es since the settlement 
of the place. 

The first Methodist 
society in tlie town of 
Dryden was organized 
a t We s t D r y den i n 
1811 by Rev. "Geo. W. 
Densmore. The mem- 
bers of the first class 
were Samuel Fox and 
wife, David Case and 
wife, Selden Andrus 
and wife, and one other 
whose name is not 
known. Densmore was 
succeeded by Revs. 
James Kelsey, Isaac 
WEST DEYDEN M. E. CHURCH. Puffer, John Kimber- 

lin and other old time circuit riders. Meetings were held at the 
houses of members of the class and other yjlaces until about 1815, 
when a large building was erected on the corner where the blacksmith 
shop now stands. This was used for both church and school purposes 
for a few years and was the onh' church here until the present edifice, 
constituting with its white dome one of the most prominent and famil- 
iar landmarks of the township, was built in 1882 by Peter Conover at 
a cost of twenty-two hundred dollars. It has sittings for three hun- 
dred people. 

The first trustees were Lemuel Sperry, Thomas George and William 
George. The pastors of the society since 1815, include Revs. W. N. 


Pearne, D. LamkiD, D. Cobb, A. Cross, W. N. Cobl), S. Minier, E. Hox- 
sie, J. M. Searles, F. Reed, R. C. Fox, J. B. Hyde, F. M. Warner, J. V. 
Benliam, A. M. Lake, L. R. Pendle, W. E. York, E. D. Thurston, L. T. 
Hawkins, J. E. Rhodes, Philo Cowles, W. M. Sharp, A. S. Darling-, 
■George Britten, G. D. Walker, J. A. Roberts, T. C. Roskelly, F. E. 

Among the pioneer families of West Drydeu, which, for the purpose 
of this cha]iter, is considered as including the four town lots which 
corner here, are : 

Case, DAyiD, who w-as a native of Hartford county. Conn., and came 
to Truxton, N. Y., about 1798 and to Dryden in 1808 or 1809. He pur- 
chased fifty acres of land on Lot 12, wliere he lived until he died. He 
was in the War of 1812 and ^\as buried on the farm of A. W. George. 
No stone marks the place where he and other pioneers there lie. 
Soon after coming to Dryden his wife died and he afterwards married 
the widow of Burnett Cook, wdio was also an early ]^ioneer. Susan 
(Cook) Case was a daughter of John Morris, whose wall was the first 
one recorded and proven after the formation of Tompkins county. 
One son of the second wife, Eleazer Case, is now living in Ithaca aged 
80 years. David Case and wife were members of the first Methodist 
class formed at West Dryden in 1811. 

Fox, George, was also a native of Hartford county, Conn., coming as 
far west as Truxton in 1798 and to West Dryden in 1808 or 1809, when 
he purchased fifty acres of land on Lot 12, where he remained until he 
died. He was also in the War of 1812 in the company of Capt. Bassett 
of Col. Bloom's regiment. He was buried on the farm now owned by 
A. W. George with no stone to mark his final resting place. His only 
son was Palmer B. Fox, Avell known throughout the county, and who 
left descendants, including Aretas Fox, still a resident of West Dryden- 

Fox, Samuel, became a resident of West Dryden in 1804, coming 
from Fabius, Onondaga county, to which place he had emigrated four- 
teen years previously from East Hartford, Conn., wdiere he was born 
in 1756. He had served seven years in the Revolutionary War, enlist- 
ing in May, 1775. In July, 1780, he was sent to the command of La- 
Fayette in Virginia, where he was in the battle at the mouth of the 
James River, the siege of Yorktown, and at the surrender of Lord 
Cornwallis. He was one of the first settlers of Fox's Corners and 
from him the place derived this name by which it was first known- 
He built Jiis first log house a few rods west of where the M. E. church 
mow stands and was one of s; ven to form the first Methodist class in 
the township. 


To Samuel Eox and his wife, Mabel (Webster), were born eleven chil- 
dren, of whom three died unmarried. Edmund returned to Fabius, N. 
Y., Julius removed to and died in Wisconsin, but the remainini>- six^ 
including Anna (who married Ephraim Bloom), Samuel, Jonathan, Eu- 
nice (who married Harris Roe and afterward Francis White), Asa (who 
married Eunice Dodge), and Chester (who married Julia Spatibrd), all 
settled in and about West Dry den. 

Samuel Fox died in West Dryden Oct. 10, 1844, 88 years of age. 
His farm of about fift}' acres is still included in that of his grandson,, 
James A. Fox, to whom we are indebted for some interesting incidents 
of the hardships endured by the pioneers and their families. When 
his father, Asa, was a bo}' trying to keep up with the men in hoeing 
corn, his grandfather, Samuel, to encourage his son sent to Ludlowville 
by a neighbor who happened to be going down, for a hat, the first the 
boy had ever had. When it was brought back the father placed it up- 
on his son's bare head, but after he had hoed once around with it on, 
the boy took it off and laid it by under the fence, saying that he was 
not used to it and it made his head ache. He had his first pair of 
boots when he was eighteen years of age, children going barefooted 
like colts until that age, and he secured a pair of shirts by splitting 
■one thousand rails. When he bought his farm there was a mort- 
gage on it held by a man in New Jersey, where he went twice on foot 
to make his payments. 

When the eldest son, Edmund, went by himself he had a pair of 
oxen and a cow, constituting his stock and team. When his season's 
work was half done one of his oxen died and his only recourse was to 
yoke the cow in wdth the other ox to carry on the work of the farm, 
the cow being thus required to furnish the family with milk and but- 
ter and at the same time do half of the team work. W^e should hear 
but little about the present bad times if people now realized the ex- 
tremities to w^hich the pioneers were often reduced. 

FuLKERSON, Benjamin, Josiah and Chapman, l)rothers, were originally 
from New Jersey, coming to Lansing soon after 1790. They came to 
Dryden in 1805, Benjamin purchasing in that year all of Lot 22 ex- 
cept the survey fifty acres and paying for it two thousand dollars. 
He bought fifty acres which is now included in the fann of J. H. 
George. On this he built his cabin, but soon after died. His wife, 
Avho was Sally Giles, survived him many years and was married to 
Simeon Van Nortwick, also an early pioneer. Benjamin and Sally 
Fulkerson had one son, Benjamin, Jr., and one daughter, Phoebe, who 
married Henry White, son of Daniel White. Benjamin, Jr., married 


Einil}' Douglas, who is now living with her clHUghter, Mrs. J. B. 
George, at the age of 86. 

Josiah Fnlkerson bought of his brother the south half of Lot 22, 
building his house where his great-grandson, Lamont Fulkerson, now 
lives. His wife was Polly Cook and his family consisted of five sons, 
Burnett C, Silas, Benjamin, Lot and Calvin. The daughters were Sal- 
h% who was married to John George ; Ann, to Sheldon Sharp ; Jane, 
to Hiram Snyder ; and Maria, to James Snyder, the latter being the 
only one now living. 

Another brother. Chapman, who came to the town from Lansing- 
soon after, also settled on Lot 22. He was born in New Jersey in 
1785, and his wife, Hester Brown, two years later. They were mar- 
ried and settled on a farm half a mile south of West Dryden in 1807. 
The first winter they kept their stock on browse and a few ears of corn 
each day, and wolves killed several sheep. Mrs. Fulkerson rode horse- 
back and carried a child twelve miles to Teetertown, now Laus- 
ingville, to church during the first few years of their mariled life. 
Their first child was Betsey, who married Dayton Primrose and lived 
at West Dryden ; she left children. Sarah married Philip Robertson 
and settled in the western part of Pennsylvania ; she is still living and 
has three children. Miranda did not marry ; Stephen B. lives on the 
old homestead. Malvina married Albert Twogood ; they moved to 
Marion, Iowa, and left six children. Daniel removed to the West. 
Sophia married Abram Anthony ; they settled in Iowa and have a fam- 
ily of six. Samuel C. married Lucinda Hill, has always lived in the 
town of Dryden, and has five children. Louisa married Elliott Fort- 
ner and left three children. John lives in Iowa. Chapman Fulker- 
son died December 21, '49, aged 64 years. Hester Fulkerson died 
January 21, '69, aged 81 years. 

George, David, was born near Monmouth Court House (now Free- 
hold), Monmouth county, N. J., in the year 1769. He was nearly ten 
years old when the battle of Monmouth occurred near his home, June 
28th, 1778. He carried water all day to the soldiers wounded in that 
bloody battle of the Revolution ; and at night nearly fell with exhaus- 
tion. In 1793 Mr. George married Alletta Sheppard, whose father 
and grandfather both Avere officers of note in the Continental Army in 
the Revolution ; both of them were taken prisoners in 1781 and car- 
ried to New York by the British, undergoing much suflering at their 
hands. Mr. George moved into the town of Dryden with his family in 
the year 1804, and settled three fourths of a mile east of West Dry- 
den upon a farm of one hundred acres, a portion of which is now 



owned aud occupied by a Mr. Lathrop. Some parts of the buildings 
now on such portion were built by Mr. George during his lifetime. 
The family passed through all the hardships of the pioneer settlers of 
the town. The forest was almost unbroken, while the clearings al- 
ready made were few and far apart. He was a weaver by trade, weav- 
ing coverlets, blankets, cloth and linen, and there are persons in the 

town now who have 
n some of his work. 

I In spite of their 

hardshijis and sur- 
roundings Mr. and 
Mrs. George raised 
a family of twelve 
children, namely: 
Thomas, who set- 
tled in Syracuse 
when it was a small 
village, and always 
lived there ; Allet- 
ta, who always liv- 
ed in the town, un- 
til her death ; Ra- 
chel, who married 
George Conrad and 
after living a few 
years in Cattarau- 
gus county, N. Y., 
moved west. One 
of her sons, Hon. 
W. F. Conrad, lives 
at Des Moines, Io- 
wa, and is a prom- 
inent Judge of that 
state. Elisha, too, settled in Syracuse and always lived there. Joel 
with his famdy settled in Joliet, Illinois ; Peter and his family settled 
in Steuben county, N. Y.; Sarah lived at Niagara Falls. Mary mar- 
ried Peter Grover ; one of their sons, Andrew J. Grover, is still re- 
membered by many in this section, and after him the G. A. R. Post 
at Cortland is named. Hannah married Solomon Silver, and lived 
for a number of years at Peruville, in this county ; Eliza late in life 
married Dr. Isaac Carpenter and settled at Auburn, N. Y. She is 




at present living- at Jamestown, N. Y. Adaliue married AVilliam L.. 
Fessenden and is living at Candor, N. Y, Harvey married Susan Van 
Horn, for a while was a merchant at West Dryden and later moved to 
Kansas and died there about ten years ago. 

Mr. George continued to live upon the farm where he settled, until 
his death, which occurred October 3rd, 1848. His widow survived him 
twenty-one years ; her death took place September 12th, 1869, she be- 
ing ninety-one years of age. She could remember seeing the British 
soldiers of the Revolutionary War pass her father's house on their way 
through the Jerseys. 

None of their descendants now reside in Tompkins county ; but a 
grandson, Dilworth M. Silver, an attorney of Buffalo, N. Y., has de- 
voted himself to tracing out the history of this branch of the George 
family, and has materially aided us with the results of his researches, 
being able to trace bis grandmother's ancestry back to the year 1654,. 
which was the date when the first of her ancestors came to America. 

George, Joel, an elder brother of David, was born in Monmouth 
county, New Jersey, in the year 1767. He married Mary Toan, and 
all of their older children were born in New Jersey, but about the 
year 1798 they migrated " West " and after sojourning for about six 
years at Scipio, N. Y., located in Dryden on land now owned by An- 
drew Baker, about the year 1804. He bought three hundred acres, 
which included the farm now owned by S. M. George. His sons were 
Thomas, John and William T. The daughters were married — Sally 
to William Van Nortwick ; Elizabeth to Thomas Hance, Jr., after- 
wards to Judge Joshua North ; Clarissa to Peter Couover. Joel wa& 
the first blacksmith in that part of the town, carrying on the business 
many years. Among his grandchildren are S. M. George, James H. 
and Almanzo W. George, all still residing in AVest Dryden and re]>re- 
senting the three male branches of their common ancestor, Joel. 

KiMBERLiN, Rev. John, who had traveled thousands of miles on 
horseback through the wilds of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio 
as an early Methodist circuit rider, came to Dryden about the year 
1815, and bought of Selden Andrus the place now known as the Bry- 
ant farm, one-half mile west of " Fox's Corners, " where he lived until 
his death, which occurred in 1853 at the age of seventy-two years. At 
his request he was buried directly underneath the spot where the pul- 
pit had stood in the old Asbury red meeting house, which had been 
burned a few years before and where he had preached so man}' times. 

Mount, Evert, Avho was born in New Jersey in ] 758, was a soldier 
of the Revolution, participating in the battles of Trenton, Princeton 


and Monmouth, and coming to West Drydeu in 1801, accompanied by 
his only son, Joseph. The latter was the father of William Dye 
Mount, and grandfather of the Mounts now living in Groton. Evert 
and his son built the first blacksmith shop at the corners, where they 
worked for a few years. They returned to New Jersey with the in- 
tention of bringing their families to their new homes, but while there 
hostilities between England and the United States broke out and Jo- 
seph Mount volunteered and was sent to the frontier. He was killed 
in the battle of Lundy's Lane, July 25, 1814 Evert Mount returned 
with his wife to West Dryden and resumed work at his trade, which 
he continued until the weight of years compelled him to relinquish it. 
He died at West Dryden in July, 1841, aged 88 years, and was buried 
in the " George " cemetery. His wife, Effie Dye Mount, survived 
him several years, living with her grand-daughter, Mrs. Wilson Hunt. 
They afterwards removed to Cattaraugus county, where Mrs. Mount 
died in 1849. 

Primrose, Jacob, came from Sussex county. New Jersey, in 1803, 
and settled on Lot 23, where he purchased one hundred and thirty 
acres of land. He was a weaver of coverlets and worked at that trade 
after he came here. His wife was Martha Dayton. They had three 
sons : Henry, who served in the War of 1812, and Lewis and Dayton. 
Of the four daughters, Ruth and Sarah married Silas and Benjamin 
Fulkerson, respectively. Sarah is still living at Clinton, Wisconsin, 
at the age of 88 years. 

The farm has always remained in the family and is now owned by 
George Primrose, a son of Dayton. 

SuTLiFF, David, was an early West Dryden pioneer, coming from 
Hartford, Conn., to Genoa in 1804 and to Dryden in 1806, buying land 
on Lot 23 now owned by Geo. Fulkerson, and which remained in pos- 
session of the family nearly seventy-five years. He was the father of 
fourteen children, most of whom were born in Connecticut. The best 
known in Dryden were Uriah, Henry P., and Parintha, wife of Burnett 
C. Fulkerson, who was the last surviving member of that branch of 
the family. She died in 1892 in her 91st year. 

Wire, Jared, also came from Hartford county, Connecticut, and pur- 
chased a farm of fifty acres on Lot No. 12 ; but he removed to Penn- 
sylvania, where he died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Watson 
Sutliff, many years ago, leaving no descendants in this town. 



Key to the Map of Varna. 










Geo. E. Underwood. 
Ezra Ostrander, 
Ezra Ostrander. 
Mrs. Cooper. 
Wm. J. Manning. 
Wilson Baker. 
Frank Powers. 
Philip S. Snyder. 
Mrs. Olive Crutts. 
Grist Mill. 
Wagon Shop. 
Marenus Crutts. 
Marenus Crutts. 
Geo. Underwood. 
Robert Smiley, Postoffice. 
Ernest Snyder. 
Milo Williams. 
H. Brink, Store. 
J. Whipple. 
Blacksmith Shop. 

21. Wagon Shop. 

22. School House, No. 18. 

23. Marenus Crutts. 

24. W. C. Ellis. 

25. J. Pierce. 

26. Mrs. S. Grover. 

27. O. T. Ellis. 

28. Seaman & Snyder' 

29. M. E. Church. 

30. M. E. Parsonage. 

31. Wm. J. Manning. 

32. Geo. Brown. 

33. Mrs. Isaac Creamer. 

34. Mrs. Sherwood. 

35. Frank Ellis. 

36. J. T. Morris. 

37. Will Ross. 

38. Frank Hazen. 

39. Depot. 




The annals of the early settlement of Varna seem to be hopelessly 
lost. We cannot even obtain a hint as to the origin of the applica- 
tion of its name to this locality, the only other Varna of which we 
have any knowledf^e being a Bulgarian city of that name on the shore 
of the Black Sea. It, however, had an early history, and among its 
first settlers were men by the name of Dyer, Jarvis and Blue, followed 
by Ebenezer Brown, Erasmus T. Brown, Jonathan Knowles, James 
Bird, Gen. John Munson, Peter Talmadge, John Ewers, Dr. Call^ 
James McElheny, Wm. H. Miller, Walter Dowe, Dr. Ide, Dr. Pome- 
roy, William Cobb, William Schutt and Isaac Creamer. 

Both the first saw-mill and the first grist-mill are said to have been 
built by Gabriel Cain, in 1803, the former near the site of the Hart 
mill, where Amos Ogden, in later years, first instituted the custom of 
putting up flour in cotton sacks, for which paper has been substituted. 
The first tavern seems to have been built by a man by the name of Ab- 
ner Chapin, near the site of the present hotel, in 1806, but the present 
hotel building was built by James McElheny in 1832, the first school 
house having been erected two years before on the opposite side of 
the street. On the site of the Crutts grist-mill there was constructed 
a saw-mill in 1818 by Gen. John Munson, and a sash factory was built 
in 1837 by Erasmus Brown, which was later occupied by Israel Brown 
as a distillery. Gen. Munson had a store in 1831 on the site now oc- 
cupied by the Whipple blacksmith shop, the first blacksmith shop of 
which we have any record having been built by William Van Sickle in 
1830. A tannery was built and operated by Z. Hartsough in 1840, fol- 
lowed by the building of the M. E. church in 1842 and the Presbyte- 
rian church in 1843. 

The proximity of Varna to Ithaca has always interfered with its 
prosperity as a business center, but there was a time, near the middle 
of our Century Period, when it had quite a business of its own. In 
those days it was a great horse market, and many a drove of horses 
Avas started from there to New York in the old-fashioned way, some 
twenty-five horses more or less being attached with yokes to a long 
rope at the head of which was a leader on horseback, and a man with 
a cart or wagon attached to the other end of the line brought up the 
rear, while horses in pairs were attached to the rope all the way be- 
tween. Such a troop of horses starting for the New York market in 



this way would be a novel siglit in these days of rapid transportation. 
Lart,'e droves of sheep and cattle driven along the highways of our 
town enroute for New York were a frequent sight fifty years ago, on 
all of our principal thoroughfares. 

Not only was Varna in early times a great place for sending horses 
off to the cities, but it was noted as a home horse market where horses 
were sold and exchanged in great numbers, and where the running of 
horses as a test of speed was a common practice before the present 
custom of trotting horses came in vogue. At one time there were 
some parties there by the name of Sloan Bros, who for years made 
it their headquarters for peddling clocks of Eastern manufacture 
throughout the surrounding country. 

The first M. E. church of Varna was organized at the school-house 
January 5, 1842, with the following as trustees : Hoffman Steenburg, 
William Cobb, Robert C. Hunt, Benjamin Davenport, George Em- 
mons, John Munson and Isaac Seaman. Their church edifice was 
completed the next year at an original expense of fifteen hundred dol- 
lars, extensive repairs having since been made. The pastors of this 
church have been W. H. Miller, A. H. Hamilton, D. Lamkin, L. G. 
Weaver, J. W. Steele, Elias Hoxsie, David Davis, G. W. Smith, A. En- 
sign, Sylvester Minier, L. R. Grant, E. House, D. W. Sherman, L. T. 
Hawkins, E. A. Peck, R. L. Stilwell, N. M. Wheeler, F. M. Wheeler, 
W. M. Fisher, P. W. Mynard, E. D. Thurston, G. W. Reynolds, J. L. 
King, C. J. Pendleton, M. J. Owen, P. H. Reigal, J. E. Showers, F. H. 

The Presbyterian church of Varna was discontinued over thirty 
years ago and their building was taken down and removed to Brook- 

It is not a little remarkable that a town which forms a part of the 
great watershed separating the St. Lawrence from the Chesapeake sys- 
tems of water courses — the streams of Dryden being represented in 
each — should possess such valuable water power privileges as are af- 
forded by Fall Creek and its tributaries. Rising in the town of Sum- 
merhill and flowing south through the eastern part of the town of 
Groton, Fall Creek enters Dryden near McLean and flows diagonally 
through our town in such a way as to afford an abundance of mill sites 
for water power. It is the central drainage artery of the township, 
receiving as tributaries Beaver, Mud and Virgil creeks on the south, 
and the West Dryden stream from the north, as well as other smaller 
additions. Although Fall Creek suffers considerable diminution in 
times of drouth, especially since the country through which it flows 



has been mostly deprived of the shade of the forests, it still has 
good lasting qualities even in the dry seasons of summer and autumn. 
The largest and most constant of these water powers are, of course, 
situated on the lower part of the stream, the last one in the town of 
Dryden running the present Crutts mill, which still does considerable 
business in flour and feed grinding. Peter Talmadge also had a mill 
near b}' but on the north side. Next above is the Hart mill, already 
spoken of, and next above in the order being the Wm. Allen sitei 
the Wm. Bishop or Sherwood Mills, the George Robertson site, later 
sold to Jonathan Card and Ward Mallorv, who there manufactured 


chairs which are still in use, the Salmon Sharp site, the Rhodes site- 
and the Wadsworth site, which brings us up to the Bartholomew mills 
in the vicinit}' of Etna. 

All of these water powers were first employed in sawing the pine 
lumber, which was very abundant in and about Varna, the pine trees- 
along the northerly side of Fall Creek being the largest to be found in 
this region, often five feet in diameter and each cutting twenty-five 
thousand clear shingles or five thousand feet of first class white pine 
lumber. If anv one of our readers is inclined to doubt this statement 


or consider it exaggerated, we can call attention to the fact as corrobo- 
rating our accuracy that an occasional pine stump in the fence of 
this neighborhood is still shown which, split in two in the middle, 
makes four rods in length of stump fence. 

Of the pioneer families of Varna we can only speak of James Mc- 
Elheny, whose father, Thomas McElheny, came fi'om New Jersey early 
in the century, first locating near Malloryville, where James married 
Betsey, a daughter of Judge Ellis. He was a justice of the peace of 
the town in 1830 at Ellis Hollow, afterwards a hotel keeper at Varna, 
and died in 1836 at the early age of thirty-five years. His father and 
the rest of the family had already removed to Allegany county, the 
children of James who remained here including John E. McElheny, of 
Dryden, and Thomas J. McElheny, of Ithaca. 

Isaac Creamer, although not strictly speaking a pioneer, came to 
Varna with the clock peddlers whom he assisted, about 1835, and for a 
long time he remained a prominent character in that section of the 
town. Although a pronounced Democrat he served as justice of the 
peace and justice of sessions in 1864, and was a leader among the 
Democratic politicians of the county. 

Esquire Wm. H. Miller, who was a justice of the peace of the town 
in 1833, came to Varna from Rensselaer county about seventy-five 
years ago, followed later by his father, Moses Miller ; his sister, Mrs. 
Nancy Grant, now over ninety years of age and residing Avith her 
daughter, Mrs. C. D. Bouton, of Ithaca ; and other sisters, Mrs. Sam- 
uel Rowland, afterwards residing at Willow Glen, where she died ; 
Mrs. Angeline Brown, widow of Capt. Brown, now of Cortland ; and 
Mrs. Charles LaBarr, now of Dryden village. 

Peter Talmadge seems to have been a prominent figure in the early 
times of Varna, his stentorian voice being emplo^^ed to advantage in 
driving his oxen and being heard throughout the whole settlement. 
Although illiterate and unpolished in his speech and manners, Father 
Talmadge, as he was called, possessed rugged virtues, and when others 
of his less independent Varna neighbors bashfully admitted to the out- 
of-town merchants with whom they traded, that they lived "just in the 
edge of Dryden, " it is said that he patriotically affirmed in unmistak- 
able terms that he was not ashamed to own that he resided " in the 
very bowels of Dryden. " 





Key to the 3Ia/t of Etno. 

1. Mrs. C. Turner. 
± J. T. Primrose. 

3. E. F. Weaver. 

4. James Rawley. 

5. Geo. Cowdrey. 

6. L. Dusenberry. 

7. Arthur Burr. 

8. Mrs. H. Ralph. 

9. Mrs. D. Weaver. 

10. L. Freeman. 

11. Wm. Smith. 

12. School House, No. 11. 

13. Shoe Shop. 

14. David Broth^rton. 

15. Dr. G. L. Rood. 

16. Baptist Church. 

17. M. E. Church. 

18. Wm. W. Sherwood. 

19. Mrs. J. S. Weidman. 

20. Dr. J. Beach. 

21. Edward Gaston. 

22. E. Snvder. 




C. Bartholomew. 


Arthur Coggswell. 


Mrs. Davenport. 


Meat Market. 


E. Freeman. 


H. A. Root, Hotel. 


L. Hemmingway, shop. 


Geo. H. Houtz. 


L. Hemmingway. 


Mrs. C. Houtz. 


D. B. Conklin. ^ 


Geo. H. Houtz. 


Mrs. John Reed. 


W. Marsh. 


Barbara Rulison. 


Etna Hotel, C. Westervelt. 


Arthur Burr. 


Depot, L. V. R. R. 


P. Brady. 


Mrs. Mary H. Bartholomew. 


Smith Stevens. 


T. Rhodes. 


D. Brotherton. 


Freeman Bros. 


Cabinet Shop. 


J. Bartholomew. 


Wagon Shop. 


S. Ralph Estate. 


Blacksmith Shop. 


Milo Snyder. 


Blacksmith Shop. 


Emma Snyder. 


Houtz's Etna Roller Mills. 


Mrs. Hurley. 




Etna Creamery. 


Ai Van Horn. 


Blacksmith Shop. 


Ann Merchant. 


Machine Shop. 


Geo. L. Snyder. 


Hannah Lee Estate. 


Mrs. William Haskins. 


Wm. H. Sherwood. 


Ladrew Sherwood. 


Geo. H. Houtz, Store. 


Eli Conklin. 


Mary H. Bartholomew. 


Wm. Tichenor. 


Mrs! G. B. Davis. 




We are not able to give the year when Rev. Wm. Miller and his 
brother Arthur, who was a blacksmith, commenced building in the 
wilderness of what is now known as the village of Etna, but was first 
called, after them. Miller's Settlement. 

The first grist-mill there was on the same spot and in the same 
building . lately occupied by Jesse Bartholomew as a planing mill. 
The date of the erection of this mill cannot now be accurately given, 
and it has been claimed that it ante-dated White's mill at Freeville, 
but so far as we can learn, without authority, and, as it seems to us, 
without reason, for Capt. Robertson would not have gone to mill at 
Ludlowville with his crops of 1799 and 1800 if there had been a mill 
so near to him as Etna. 

The first date of Etna which we can give with any accuracy or cer- 
tainty is that of the organization of the first religious society in the 
township, the first and we believe to this day, the only regular Bap- 


tist church of Dry den, which was organized February 29, 1804, at the 
home of William Miller. The meeting was opened with singing and 
prayer by Mr. Miller, Samuel Hemmingway being elected deacon, and 
John Wickham, clerk of the society. Among the original members 
are said to have been Francis Miller, Elijah Dimmick, Silas Brown, 
Ebenezer Brown, Nathaniel Luther, Job Carr, Ziba Eandall, Timothy 
Owens, Jonathan Dunham, Joshua Jay, Abraham Woodcock, Nathan 
Dunham, Joel Whipple, Samuel Skillinger, Morris Baile}^ Orpha Lu- 
ther, Asher Wickham, Mehitable Carr, Betsey Brown, Abigail Dim- 
mick, Mary Owens, Lucy Dunham and Katie Woodcock. 

A saw-mill was built at about the same time as the grist-mill, upon 
the site lately occupied by the Houtz saw-mill, and afterwards a full- 
ing mill owned by Joseph Newell and Stephen Bradley, on the ground 
now occupied by the blacksmith shop of Bert Conklin. Daniel Carr 
and John McArthur carried on the first store in the house formerly 
occupied by Wm. Miller and now owned by the Houtz family. The 
first blacksmith shop stood where is now the center of the road be- 
tween Houtz's store and grist-mill. The first church building was of 
logs on the lands of Nathaniel Luther, but was replaced by a frame 
building on the same ground, which is where the Etna Creamery Co.'s 
building now stands, and the building is the same one which Caleb 
Bartholomew used as a pattern shop. At that time there was a bridge 
across Fall Creek at that point. The first school house stood on the 
site now occupied b}' the Houtz store and was the building afterwards 
used as the old cooper shop, which was finally taken away b}' high 
water a number of years ago. 

About the year 1815 the place took quite a change. Wm. Miller 
sold out his property to the Houtz family and the new settlement from 
that time bore the name of Columbia until about the year 1820, when 
the postofiice was established under the name of Etna. In the mean- 
time Bradley & Newell sold their fulling-mill to Rice Weed. Stephen 
Bradley owned and occupied the place now owned by Hiram Root, 
which afterwards became the property of Joseph Hemmingwa3^ Here 
he built the hotel, and the original " Bradley House " of former years 
is a part of the present hotel. 

The first shoemaker was Jacob Lumbard, whose descendants are 
well known in the town of Dryden. About the year 1818 a store was 
built on the ground where Ed Carbury now lives, just east of Root's 
Hotel. At the same time there was another store kept by H. B. 
Weaver in the building now known as Houtz's white shop. Henry 
Beach built a saw-mill which was burned on the island about where 


is now the center of the Houtz dam. Beach sold his interest in this 
property to J. H. Houtz, who rebuilt the mill, but later took it down 
to make room for a distillery. On that particular spot one saw-mill 
and two distilleries were burned and the last distillery was taken off 
by high water a few years ago, being remembered by the present gen- 
eration as the old sash ia.ctoYy. 

Another distillery stood on the island just back of Conklin's shop 
and was owned by John Dodge, who came from Maine. 

Columbia had two bridges at that time, one of which has been men- 
tioned, and the other extended across the creek nearly in front of 
■where Dr. Rood now lives. 

"When Henry L. Beach sold his property to J. H. Houtz he moved 
to what was known as Lower Etna, where Truman Rhodes now lives 
in a house which was then built by Mr. Beach as a hotel, from which 
there was a road running south to the corner of the pine woods. At 
that time Lower Etna possessed a hotel, paper mill, blacksmith shop, 
store, wagon shop and several other buildings. The first tailor was 
John Weaver, who had a little family of children from which only 
nine attended shool at one time. 

The First M. E. church of Etna was organized April 13, 1835, and 
their meetings were held in the village school house until 1837, when 
the present church edifice was erected at a cost of about two thousand 
dollars, seating two hundred persons. The first trustees were James 
Freeman, Alvah Carr, Michael Vanderhoef, Richard Bryant, Thomas 
J. Watkins, Oliver Baker and John H, Porter. 

Fifty years ago Etna had a hard name, being then noted [for its 
horse running and liquor distilling proclivities, there being no less 
than ten or twelve stills within two miles square of this section of the 
town. While the general business of the place has not increased in 
recent years the character of its inhabitants and industries has very 
much improved, and a stranger who now visits Etna finds it very 
pleasantl}^ located upon the opposite banks of Fall Creek, which are 
here connected by a very substantial iron bridge, one of the largest 
and best in the township, and the dwellings and public buildings, in- 
cluding churches and schools, show abundant evidence of the thrift, 
good taste and enterprise of its inhabitants. The butter factory, re- 
cently incorporated, is one of the recent manufacturing enterprises 
which flourish, and for the past twenty-five years Etna has not been 
behind her neighboring villages in mercantile enterprise or in the 
•educational advantages furnished by her excellent school. 

The following pioneers of Etna have been brought to our notice : 


Bartholomew, Jesse, Sr., was born in Branford, Conn., in 1763, and 
about 1783, in Lee, Mass., married Mamra Bradley, who died in Dry- 
den in July, 1823, after which he married Betsey Locke LTpdike in 
Dryden in 1831. He came in 1798 to Herkimer county, from which 
place, after living in Locke, Cayuga count}^ he moved to the town of 
Dryden in 1812 or 1813, and purchased and settled on the land now 
known as the Hauford farm, one-half mile east of Etna, from which he 
was subsequently driven o& by a man who claimed a better title. 
While he yet lived on the corner where the Etna road joins the Bridle 
Road, and in the traditional cold season of 1816, he raised a field of 
corn, said to have been the only crop of that kind matured in the 
town of Dryden that year. He died in 1846 aged 83 years. He was- 
a devoted Baptist and is said by his children to have been so even- 
tempered as never to have been seen in a passion. He was the father 
of fifteen children and the grandfather of over seventy. Among the 
former were Jesse Bradley, who carried on a distillery in Dryden vil- 
lage in the Pioneer Period and moved to Michigan, where he died 
leaving a large family ; Lemi, who served in the War of 1812, having 
enlisted as the record says at Dryden, Cayuga county, N. Y., in Au- 
gust, 1814, in CoL Fleming's regiment, which rendezvoused at Cayuga 
Bridge, and was one of the volunteers who took part in the celebrated 
" sortie of Fort Erie. " He died in Westfield, N. Y., in 1872. Daniel, 
Sr., was born in Locke in 1798, and in 1819 married Jerusha Griswold, 
whose children, Mary (Wheeler) and Daniel, Jr., are still well-known 
residents of Dryden. Caleb and Jesse, Jr., have for many years been 
prominent business men of Etna, where they both still reside, Caleb 
having been largely engaged in the manufacture and sale of scales and 
iron bridges, while Jesse has manufactured specialties, one of which 
was the first machine used in Etna which would do planing and 
matching of lumber at the same time. 

Carr, John, is said to have come to Etna from Pennsylvania as early 
as 1800, settling in the western part with his three sons. Job, Peleg 
and Caleb. His wife it is said used to call her sons in the morning, 
saying : " Come, boys, the birds are saying Job, Peleg and Caleb. " 

Dunham, Jonathan, with his three sons, Henry, Louis and Nathan,, 
coming from Pennsylvania, settled near Etna about the year 1800. 

McArthur, Rev. Daniel, from Scotland, arrived in New York Ma}' 
29, 1811. He was originally a Presbyterian, but changed his religious 
views and went to Edinburgh, where he was baptised and united with 
the Baptist creed. Soon after he took passage for America in the 
hope that the change of climate would prove beneficial to his wife,. 


who was in poor health but died upon the voyage and was buried 
on Staten Island. After spending some time with friends in America 
from his native land he met Mr. Quigg, of Ithaca, on the Hudson riv- 
er and was influenced by him to come to Dryden, as he did, and died 
here in 1847, leaving many descendants. 

HouTZ, Rev. Anthony, with his father, Philip Peter, migrated from 
Germany in 1768, when the former was only ten years of age, locating 
at Lancaster, Pa., where the son learned the trade of a tailor, and 
using this occupation as a means of support he studied theology and 
was licensed to preach by the German Reformed Church. The origin- 
al family name was " Hauz " ; but as they soon began to speak 
English they changed the spelling and pronunciation to Hautz and 
later to Houtz, which with the English spelling is the exact German 
pronunciation of " Hauz. " During his pastorate in Pennsylvania, his 
first wife died and in 1803 he married Katrina Keller, who became the 
step-mother of his four children and in the year following the mother 
of his fifth child, John Heinrich Hauz, who was the old merchant and 
miller, John H. Houtz, so well known to the older residents of Etna, 
where now lives and toils at his roller mills his son. Col. George H. 
Houtz, the great-grandson of Philip Peter Hauz. In the years 1804 
and 1805 Rev. Anthony Houtz preached at Canoga and Lansingville 
and as early as 1806 located at Etna, where he served the people not 
only as their preacher but also as a tailor, jeweler, or " time keeper, " 
as they were called in those days, and as druggist and physician. His 
books, still preserved, show that the most universal diseases of the 
section at that time were the usual new country plagues, the ague and 
the itch. He was a very useful and much respected man in the new 
settlement, where he died in 1813 and was buried in the Etna cemetery. 

The Rhodes Family of the town of Dryden are of English descent, 
their ancestors having originally settled in Pennsylvania before the 
Revolutionary War and their great-great-grandfather was a cooper by 
trade who worked for Washington's Army and was killed by Indians 
in the massacre of Wyoming. 

One of his sons, George Rhodes, came to Lansing from Northumber- 
land county, Pa., in 1792, coming by the way of the Susquehanna river 
to Owego, from there to Ithaca through a forest road, and from there to 
Lansing, where they settled. They cut their way through the original 
forest, going east from Ithaca to a spot just east of Forest Home, 
where they crossed the creek and from there went north to the farm 
now occupied by John Conklin. 

Of a numerous family, one son, Jacob Rhodes, left home in 1804, 


when he was twenty-one years old, to go for himself. Taking his rille,. 
ammunition and hatchet, he came to the present town of Dryden, 
sleeping the first night on the banks of a small stream a short dis- 
tance southwest of the present site of the village of Etna. From there 
he went east to where Freeville, McLean and Dryden now are, camp- 
ing the second night near the forks of the creek near Freeville. After 
prospecting for a number of days he came back to where he camped 
the first night and located, buying a claim owned by a Revolutionary 
soldier named Savage, from Rutland, Vt. His early life was the usual 
one of the early settlers. For years he kept house by himself and de- 
pended upon the forest and streams for provision. He was noted for 
his woodcraft and marksmanship. In fact, he was barred from taking 
part in shooting matches, for, with him, to shoot was to win, and at the 
present time spots can be pointed out where he killed deer, bear, etc. 

He married Margaret, daughter of Christopher Snyder, and of a 
family of eight, four sons grew to an old age, the four daughters having 
died in childhood or youth. The sons were Wm. S., Geo. W., and 
Miles and Truman Rhodes. The old home of Jacob Rhodes was 
until recently owned by Miles Rhodes, and is now occupied by W. J. 

Jacob Rhodes, by combining farming with a distillery, accumulated 
a large property, which is now owned by his grand-children, consist- 
ing of about one thousand acres of land, lying in nearly a solid body 
south and west of Etna. 



Early in the history of the country there came to New England from 
the mountains of Wales three sturdy brothers with their families, 
bearing the name of Giles or Gyles. They bore the characteristics 
that marked the sturdy and determined followers of Owen Glendower. 
Courageous, thrifty and resourceful, they regarded nothing better in 
man than honor and self-reliance. One of these families or their de- 
scendants came early into Eastern New York, and it is from this 
branch that sprang the family that forms the subject of the following 
sketch. Owing to a serious misfortune that befell the family early in 
the present century, mention of which will hereafter be made, many 
records of the history of the family were totally lost, so that much 
pertaining to such history, prior to that event, has been perpetuated 


more by tradition than otherwise. But in tlie preparation of this pa- 
per all the care that the time would permit has been taken to re- 
ject ever3^thing that did not seem to be well authenticated. 

In the summer of 1801 Isaiah Giles came from Orani^e county to 
begin a home for himself and family in the town of Dryden upon lands 
that he had recently purchased on Lot 15. He began his little clear- 
ing about, and built his log cabin near, the spring that in later years 
lias been known as the Cheese Factory spring, just northwest of Free- 
ville. After building his cabin he extended his clearing sufficiently to 
put in a piece of corn the next spring. He then returned east and 
early the next year, in the month of March, he came back, bringing 
his wife and children. He did not have time when jnitting up his 
house to put on the roof, so that one of the first things to be done, 
when moving in, was to shovel out the snow, and then cut and put on 
basswood bark for a roof. Then with a blanket hung up at the door- 
way the home and castle of the Giles family in Dryden was complete, 
for the time. From that time until the opening of spring, he was en- 
gaged in splitting and smoothing up puncheons for a door and fioor- 
ing, and in building bunks for sleeping. In all the toil and care inci- 
dent to such a beginning he had an earnest and efficient helper in the 
person of his good wife, Sarah Lanterman, whom he had married some 
nine years before. Their family then consisted of seven children, in- 
cluding two pairs of twins. There were subsequently born to them 
two sous and a daughter. To these children we shall have occasion to 
refer farther on. 

Isaiah Giles and his wife were earnest, thrifty, pushing people, and 
about them soon began to cluster the evidences of their industry and 
economy. In the fall of 1802 they harvested their first corn and pota- 
toes. The winter brought many privations and discomforts, but they 
passed through it without serious sickness or mishap. In the summer 
of 1803 they harvested their first crop of wheat, and threshed it in the 
little log barn that they had built the 3'ear before. They winnoAved 
away the chaff, and carried the first grist to the mill of Elder Daniel 
White, at Freeville, to be ground, and then had their first wheat bread 
in the town of Dryden. The clearings and improvements were ex- 
tended each year by dint of hard labor and good management. But 
in spite of the energy and thrift of Mr. and Mrs. Giles a great mis- 
fortune was in store for them. 

About 1806 there came a man by the name of Thompson who laid 
claim to the land which Isaiah had bought. Investigation shoAved 
that Thompson's title was good and that Giles had been defrauded in 



his purchase. Instances of this kind were not uncommon in the early 
history of Drydeu. But the same spirit that had begun the first home 
in Dryden was ready to begin again. Gathering together his efiects 
he went down upon Fall Creek at the point afterwards for years known 
as " Gilesville, " and bought another tract of land and began anew. It 
was here that he, with his sons, built a saw-mill and a carding and 
fulling mill, and subsequently his sons built an extensive tannery. 

Isaiah Giles was a man of considerable prominence in the affairs 
of the town, at one time serving as magistrate. In this connection a 
funny circumstance occurred. The writer repeats it as it was told 
him by Samuel Giles in 1870. Squire Giles, as he was then known, 
was an ardent Methodist withal, and one dark night a man by the 
name of Pipher, from the town of Grotou, came with his wife to the 
Giles house and aroused the family, saying that they wanted to be 
baptised, and that the Lord's business was ver}^ urgent. They seemed 
to have the impression that the civil magistrate was the proper one to 
administer baptism. Esquire Giles explained the matter to them and 
directed them to Elder Daniel White, at Freeville, whom they aroused, 
and who administered the ordinance of baptism' and sent them on 
their way rejoicing. 

Although a strong Methodist and feeling the interests of the church 
of paramount importance, it is said Mr. Giles presented a resolution or 
motion at town meeting, " that the income from the gospel and school 
fund should thereafter be used wholly for school purposes. " The 
resolution was carried through his influence, and that of some others. 

Mr. Giles died when comparatively a young man, in 1822. His 
sickness was short and his death unexpected, but he died as he had 
lived, " diligent in business, fervent in s])irit," and a firm believer in 
the tenets of the church of his choice. His wife survived him forty 
years, dying in 1862, a woman of great force of character, combined 
with very good judgment. These qualities were manifested in the 
manner in which she managed her household after the death of her 

Of the ten children of the family six lived to manhood and woman- 
hood. Polly, the oldest of these, married John Van Nortwick, and 
died in 1823 at the age of twenty-six years. The other surviving 
daughter married Samuel Mead, and afterwards in 1857 moved to 
Iowa, where she died at the age of eighty years. It is of the sons that 
what follows will pertain more particularly. 

Samuel and John Giles were twins born in Orange county in 1798. 
James Giles was born in the same county in 1800. These came with 


their parents to Drydeii in 1802, and may be justly classed arnon» the 
pioneers of the town. Samuel Giles learned the trade of cabinet 
making, and John served his time as a tanner and currier with Bur- 
nett Cook, late of Ulysses. It was here that he first saw her who was 
destined in after 3^ears to become his wife. She was then but a child 
in the cradle, and he a lad in his teens. Samuel and John, having' 
finished their apprenticeships, worked as journeymen for some years. 
James in the meantime had staid at home with his mother and car- 
ried on the saw-mill and fulling mill, assisted by an adopted brother, 
George Van Horn, whose family was in after years well known in the 
town of Dryden. 

About 1823 Samuel and James went west to seek their fortunes, go- 
ing as far as Indianapolis, Ind. After prospecting for a time and 
working at intervals, they concluded that while the soil was wonder- 
fully fertile and the countr}^ presented many inducements to young- 
men, the " shakes, " as they termed it, more than oifset the advant- 
ages. So at the beginning of winter they started for Dryden on foot. 
It was on this journey that their knowledge of mechanics stood them 
in good stead. They had the opportunity of putting into operation 
for different parties several carding machines, and when they reached 
home each had more money than when they started. 

It was just after this that Samuel and John decided to build the 
tannery at Gilesville. This business ihey carried on with considerable 
success until 1832, when they built the Tompkins House, a historic 
hotel in the city of Ithaca. John in the meantime had waited until 
the child whose cradle he had rocked when an apprentice boy had 
grown to young womanhood, and in 1828 he was married to her (then 
Miss Mary A. Cook.) The union was a happy one. Samuel was mar- 
ried in 1832 to Miss Susan Depew. 

In 1843, tired of hotel-keeking, they bought the Eddy property on 
East Hill, at Ithaca, on which they afterward built them a home, 
which they occupied until their deaths. These twin brothers during 
all their lives after beginning the tannery business at Gilesville occu- 
pied the same house and did business in partnership. John died in 
August, 1862, and Samuel in July, 1871, and his wife in February, 
1872. The widow of John is still living at Trumansburg, N. Y. 

James Giles was married to Barbara Raymer and shortly after 
bought one hundred acres of land on Lot 34, of Dryden. By subse- 
quent additions thereto he owned three hundred and twenty acres. 
He was a man of unusual force of character, and possessed rare me- 
chanical ability. He was a thorough farmer and early turned his at- 


tention to dairyinp;, and was among the first in the town to realize- 
what was then known as fancy prices for butter. He early saw that 
machinery must play a prominent part in farming, and he began fit- 
ting his meadows for the mower, and it was upon his farm one of the 
first, if not the first, mowers was used in town. For many years he- 
w^as actively engaged in selling mowers and reapers, and in buying and 
selling butter, of which article he was long known as being a compe- 
tent judge. In his good wife he ever found an efficient helpmate and a 
wise counselor. They were the parents of eight children, one son and 
seven daughters. In 1867, feeling the weight of years bearing upon 
them, they arranged to give up the hard work of life, and passed the 
management of affairs to the son, Capt. J. J. Giles, of Freeville. Mrs.. 
Giles died in November, 1887, and Mr. Giles in October, 1890, at the 
age of 90 years and 28 days. He had lived as long if not longer in 
the town of Dryden than any other person. Of the family of James 
Giles there are still living one son and four daughters. 

Sarah Lanterman Giles, the wife of Isaiah Giles died in 1862 at the- 
age of 91 years and 13 days. 

In speaking of the misfortunes that befell the family of Isaiah Giles 
it may be mentioned that soon after moving to Fall Creek an event 
occurred that ever afterward cast a shadow over the life of James. It 
occurred during the time in the year when the latter was engaged in 
running the saw-mill. The little brother We3'burn, some four or five 
years old, had been down to the mill, and, as his brother supposed, 
had gone to the house, as he saw him go doAvn the 23ath and across 
the foot bridge spanning the race leading from the mill. But it seems 
that something in the race had attracted the child and he had either 
climbed down or fallen into the race, just as James hoisted the 
gate. The rush of the waters and the noise of the mill drowned his 
cries, but the brother caught a glimpse of his clothing as he was 
straggling in the Avater. To shut the gate was but the work of a mo- 
ment and he rushed to his rescue, but it was too late ; as he carried 
the dripping form to the house he found that life was extinct. 

It was when the creek farm -was nearly paid for, and at a time when 
Isaiah Giles had gone to Dryden to make the last payment, the fam- 
ily home was burned. Little or nothing was saved from the house. 
Then it was that the family records afore-mentioned were lost. 

Ai W. Giles, born in 1810, was the youngest child. When he came 
to man's estate he worked for and with Samuel and John Giles until 
they left the Tompkins House. He then took charge of it and for 
some time conducted the business alone. He at one time had charue 


'of the tannery at Giles ville for a short period. He was engaged in 
the shoe business for a short time at Ithaca, and at one time owned 
and occupied tlie property known as the Half Wa}' House, on the Bri- 
dle Road. He was afterward connected with the milliug business at 
Free Hollow, as it was then known, and kept a flour and feed store in 
Ithaca. He was married in 181:6 to Miss Nanc}^ Leach, of Chenango 
county, N. Y. He died childless in Ithaca in November, 1889. His 
w ife survived him some three or four years. 

In matters of politics the Giles brothers were Democrats until 1856, 
when they became Republicans and remained such until the end. 
They never took any active part in political matters and none of them 
ever held any public office save Samiiel, who in 1835 was trustee of 
the village of Ithaca, and in 1845 was supervisor of the town of Ithaca. 
In 1854 Samuel Giles was named by the Legislature, with iStephen B. 
Ousiiiug and Horace Mack, as a building committee in the act author- 
izing the building of the Court House at Ithaca. S. & J. Giles Avas a 
firm name known and honored among business men of Central New 
Y'ork. Unlike in temperament, yet they lived and worked together 
"without friction. John died childless and Samuel lived to bury his 
last child, Miss Sarah Giles, in 1866. 

The records of Tompkins county show that the first will proven in 
the county, September 6, 1817, was witnessed by Isaiah and Sarah 
Giles, being the will of John Morris, of Lansing, and presumably 
drawn by Isaiah Giles. The family name has now but one representa- 
tive, and when Capt. J. J. Giles shall have been gathered to his 
fathers, a name for nearly one hundred years so well and favorabl}" 
known in the town will be known only as a matter of history. 



The larger part of McLean being outside of our territory in the ad- 
joining town of Groton, we include in this chapter what we can claim 
of it as a part of Dryden. In the year 1820 Samuel Mallory, then 22 
3'ears of age, walked from his native place in Sharon, Conn., to Ho- 
mer, N. Y., and five or six years later he purchased the mill site and 
water power at the point on Fall Creek, about one mile from McLean, 
which, from him, Avas named Malloryville. Here he built a saw-mill 
anil added carding and cloth dressing machinery as well as a dye- 
house, and finally established a chair fact(n-v, so that in these, their 




best days, the mills of Mr. MalloiT gave employment to twenty-five or 
thirty men and one-third as many women in the different kinds of 
work. Some of the prodncts of the chair factory are still in use to- 
day, indicating 
that the furniture 
of that time was 
m u c h more sub- 
stantial than most 
of that which we 
buy in these days. 
But in 1830 a great 
fire wiped out the 
flourishing indus- 
tries of Mr. Mal- 
lory and he was 
so discouraged 
that he sold out 
and removed to 
a location in Wis- 
consin. Some 
years later, about 
1845, barrels were 
manufactured at 
Malloryville by 
Wm. Trapp, who 
invented the first 
successful ma- 
chinery for that 
kind of work. 
Still later the man- 
ufacture of tubs, 
and firkins began to develop here under the firm of Howe & Watson, 
who later, in 1867, sold out to Rev. E. R. Wade, who conducted the 
business down to within a short time. Another fire in 1855 and still 
another in 1875 destroyed the manufacturing plant at Malloryville, 
but as often as it has been burned down it has been rebuilt, and in 
spite of the changes in the times the manufacturing industries at Mal- 
loryville still survive and have a promising future. The mercantile 
interests of Malloryville center at McLean, beyond our jurisdiction ;. 
but one hotel, the " Dryden House, " of the management of which our 
town has not always had reason to be proud, the railroad depot,. 



as well as the creamery of McLean, and one church, of the Roman 
Catholic denomination, come within our territory. The latter was 
erected in 1851 at a cost of one thousand dollars, the site and that of 
the Catholic cemetery near by having been donated by Michael 
O'Byrne. The society was formed in 1811 and among the first mem- 
bers were John Keenan, Patrick Corcoran, Matthew O'Byrne, James 
Walpole, Patrick Donnelly, Thomas and Patrick Kane. 

Of the pioneers and leading men of Malloryville we will mention : 

Howe, Solomon L., who was born in Groton in the year 1824 and 
was educated at the old Groton Academy. Having relatives in Cattar- 
augus county he went there as a school teacher when he became of 
age and there married Miss Rispa Smith, of Yorkshire, in 1848. I-'e- 
turning to Tompkins count}' he settled at Malloryville in 1853, where 
he was employed by Howe & Watson, the senior member of the firm, 
Lemi Howe, being his cousin, in the manufacture of their wares on 
the contract system, making some practical improvements in the pro- 
cess of their manufacture. He was of a mechanical turn of mind and 
for many years, in addition to other duties, was the principal survey- 
or and civil engineer of the township. Among his other work in this 
line was the survey for the Drj'den village water works and the lay- 
ing out of the E., C. & N. R. R. through the town. He was at least 
twice elected commissioner of highways of the town and served two 
terms as school commissioner of the second district of Tompkins coun- 
ty. His death occurred July 25, 1895. His three sons are civil engi- 
neers in the West, his only daughter being the wife of F. J. Per Lee, 
of Groton. Wherever his duties called him Mr. Howe was always a 
faithful, upright man and an efiicient officer. 

Mallory, Samuel, whose portrait is given at the beginning of this 
chapter and after whom Malloryville was named, was born in Sharon, 
Conn., April 18, 1798. He first married Nancy Hooper, of Homer, N. 
Y., who died in 1827. His second wife was Jane, daughter of Deacon 
Amos Hart, who, with four daughters, survives him. After leaving 
Malloryville he lived in McLean for a feAv years, but in 1844 moved 
to Elkhorn, Wis., where he engaged in hotel keeping in the early days 
of that country, serving two terms as treasurer of his county. He 
died in April, 1897, lacking only a few days of being 99 years of age. 
He was an exemplary man who in his long life made man}- friends, 
only a few of whom survive him. 

Wade, Rev. Edwin R., was one of the Century Committee of Dryden's 
Centennial, and died since the writing of this History was commenced. 
He was a clergyman of the Christian denomination and, in addition 


to his clerical duties, in the year 1867 he eu^iiget^ i" the manufactur- 
ing l)usiness at Malloryville, which he continued there until near his 
death. His shop had at one time a capacit3' of turning out sixty thou- 
sand tubs and firkins annually, a large amount of the raw material re- 
quired being, in later years, imported from other states. The changes 
in the demand for l>uttei packages within the past few years have 
almost wiped out this industry, which Avas so flourishing at one time 
at Malloryville. 

Elder Wade, as he was commonly called, came to Dryden from Cay- 
uga county, where he had served as supervisor of the town of Niles, 
and in 1874 he was elected to the same office in our town. He was a 
man who united civil and religious virtues with a practical, honest, 
useful life. The writer has known him, at a funeral, to conduct the 
whole service alone, preaching, reading, praying, and finally singing 
the hymn without assistance or notes. He was everywhere recognized 
as a sincere Christian and an excellent citizen. 





Although it is the 
youngest, and hence 
the last to be consid- 
ered among the vil- 
lages and hamlets of 
the township, Free- 
ville now stands fore- 
most among them in 
jr ^\. ^ the matter of railroad 

^ -™ I ,'J facilities, and only 

ond in the number 
its present inbab- 
tants. As we have 
already seen, the grist- 
mill of Elder Daniel 
'^^ White on Fall Creek, 
the site of which was 
FREEVILLE GiiisT-MiLL. ^^^-^j^^^^^ ^j^^ present 

village limits, was the first mill for grinding in the township, and we 
may now add that the present Freeville grist-mill, which replaced it 
on a site a short distance up-stream, was originall}' erected by John 



White, a sou of Daniel, in 1833, and is an old landmark of which 
we are able to give the accompanyinj^ view from a photocrraph taken 
some time ago. 

Aside from these early grist-mills and some cloth dressing works 
which included a carding machine, and one or two accompanying saw- 
mills in the same locality, Freeville had no existence as a village or 
business center, not even containing a postoffice or church during the 
first half of our Century Period. The old Shaver Hotel, although im- 
proved to keep up with the times, is another old landmark, the oldest 
section of which was built about the year 1840 and was early kept by 
Erasmus Ballard. When the tannery building was removed from 
Gilesville a few years later the frame was brought here and used for 
an addition to the hotel, which is now kept by George I. Shaver, and 
appears as shown in the following view. 

* ' ^ ^%f>€ 


ii^ln n 


There was early built a nice log school house wholly of pine logs on 
the Shaver homestead, where Wm. J. Shaver now resides, then known 
as the Lafayette District, in which Henry H. Houpt, Esq., still living 
m Dryden, was the teacher in the winter of 1835-6. He taught four 
months of twenty-four school days in a month, for which he received 
forty dollars, Avliich enabled him to still further continue his educa- 
tion. In speaking of his experience as a teacher there when he was 
twenty-one years of age, Mr. Houpt recalls the fact that one of the 
principal duties of the teacher in those days was to keep the pupils' 


pens in order, by preparing and sharpening them from goose quills^ 
which were the only pens in use in those times. 

The country in and about Freeville is remarkably level for this lo- 
cality, Fall Creek, above the grist-mill, being now navigable for a mile 
and a half, as the stream crooks and winds, by a small pleasure steam- 
boat kept for the use of pleasure parties in connection with Riverside 
Park. No such level stretch of water is found elsewhere on Fall 
Creek, which is noted for its frequent water-mill sites, which cannot 
exist upon level water. 

Tlie M. E. church of Freeville was erected in 1848, and it, together 
with the mills and hotel already referred to, formed what is now 
known as " Old Freeville, " constituting the only signs of a village 
which existed here prior to the establishment of a railroad junction at 
a point about half a mile east, in the year 1872. Since that time the 
space between " Old Freeville " and the junction has been built up so 
as to form the main avenue of the present village; the church has been 
moved up nearer the center ; L3^ceum Hall, capable of comfortably 
seating five hundred people, has been constructed upon Liberal street ; 
a new hotel known as the Junction House has been built near the 
railroad depot and several times enlarged into a structure of imposing 
proportions, as shown in the accompanying view of the railroad sta- 
tion ; and Freeville has altogether taken upon herself the appearance 
and all of the essentials of an enterprising, modern village, somewhat 
resembling Western towns in her rapid development. 

The following is a list of the ministers of the M. E. church who have 
served the Freeville charge since 1877, the pulpit having been supplied 
previous to that time by the ministers located at Dryden or Etna : 
Wm. M. Benger, A. F. Wheeler, AVm. F. Batman, R. L. Stilwell, S. W. 
Andrews, N. M. Wheeler, C. A. Wilson, James A. Roberts, T. C. Ros- 
kelly, Frederick E. Spence, J. Brownell Rogers. 

About thirty years ago " Old Freeville " possessed a little old red- 
colored building called a school-house, the subject of repairing or re- 
building which then became the occasion of a school district quarrel 
and litigation, which continued for a number of years and involved 
the district and some of its inhabitants in expenses and judgments 
amounting in all to several thousand dollars. Since then a new and 
very respectable school-house has been built and an excellent school 

Like many Western towns Freeville had a " boom, " which arrived 
about the year 1880, Avlien a great number of city lots were laid out 
and many of them sold and a manufacturing enterprise of great prom- 



ise was launched forth, first as a stove factory, and hxter as g-hiss 
works Since that time the community has been recovering from the 
stimuhxting effects of the unnatural excitement and the subsequent re- 
action, until it has now settled down upon a substantial basis of grad- 
ual growth and merited prosperity. 

The village was incorporated July 2, 1887, to include in its limits a 
square mile of territory, being Lot No. 2(5 of the town, antl now con- 
tains, according to the recent enumeration, three hundred and seven- 
ty-four inhabitants. 

The following have been the principal olfieei's : . ' - 

W. H. Richardson, 
Fred E. Darling, 
•George DePuy, 
AY. J. Shaver, 
N. H. Thompson, 

G. M. Watson, 
E. F. George, 
J. M. Carr, 
Chas. W. Parker, 



Orson Luther, 


W. J. Shaver, - 


E. Blaekman, 


^ . H. Richardson, 


Dr. Homer Genuug, 



J. M. Carr, - 


Chas. W. Parker, - 


W. J. Shaver, - 


A. C. Stone, 






- 1893 

- 1897 

No map of Freeville has heretofore been published, but it is be- 
lieved that the one which accompanies this Avork will be found to be 
an accurate and complete topographical representation of the village 
as it now exists. 

For so level a location Freeville is very fortunate in its water sup- 
ply, many flowing wells having been developed in the village which 
furnish the purest of water in abundant quantities from a depth which 
prevents danger of contamination from surface drainage. 

Riverside Park, on the bank of Fall Creek, although still a private 
enterprise belonging to Harris Roe, affords a commodious and attract- 
ive picnic and audience ground which is generously patronized in the 
summer and autumn months. During the past summer the Central 
New York Spiritual Association purchased ten acres of land in Free- 
ville for a permanent camp ground, the location of which is also shown 
•on the map. 


mil street. 

2 Brewer & Son, grist-mill, 

3 Chas. Shultz, 

4 Sarah Lisdell, 

5 Mrs. Marv Mineah, 

6 M. D. Shaver, 

7 Bvron Brewer, 
9 Mrs. A. Ellis, 

II George Seager. 

Qroton Avenue. 

3 Seneca Smith, 

5 David Robinson, 

7 Frank Brotherton, 
eg Burdette Heffron, 
II Edwin Smith. 

Brooklyn Street. 

2 J. L. Larkin, 

4 John Sample, 

6 John Brigden, 

8 Brigden blacksmith shop, 
lo W. R. Tripp. 

Main Street. 

1 Lewis Cole, 

2 George Brewer, 

3 Mrs. Rhoda Case, 

4 Henrv Brown, 

5 F. Ray Willey, 

6 Wm. bolsou, 

7 X. B. Carl, store, 

8 Chas. Monroe, carriages, 

9 George Dolson, 

10 Chas. Monroe, 

11 H Peltibone, 

12 Geo. I. Shaver, hotel, 

13 J. Pierce, 

14 H. A. Strong. 

15 Albert Tripp, 

16 William Monroe, 

17 Luther Greenfield, 

18 School-house, 

19 M. E. Church, 

20 D. M. Peck, 

21 M. E. Parsonage, 

22 J. M. Carr, 

23 "Wm. Fisher, 

24 Sarah Bowers, 

25 Will Cady, 

26 Freeville Leader, 

27 Wm. Skillman, 

28 Mrs. C. Chapman, 

29 N. J. Ogden, 

30 Blacksmith shop, 

3 1 Mrs. Kate Hanshaw, 

^2 Weaver blacksmith shop, 
^3 Wm. Dixon, 


ise was launched forth, first as a stove factory, and hiter as giass 
works Since that time the community has been recovering- from the 
stimuhiting effects of the unnatural excitement and the subsequent re- 
action, until it has now settled down upon a substantial basis of grad- 
ual growth and merited prosperity. 

The village was incorporated July 2, 1887, to include in its limits a 
square mile of territory, being Lot No. 26 of the town, and now con- 
tains, according to the recent enumeration, three hundred and seven- 
ty-four inhabitants. 

The following have been the principal ofticeis : . ' ^ 


W. H. Richardson, 


Orson Luther, 

- 1893 

Fred E. Darling, - 

- 1889 

W. J. Shaver, - 


George DePuy, 


E. Blackman, 

- 1895-6 

AY. J. Shaver,"^ 

- 1891 

^ . H. Richardson, 

' 1897 

N. H. Thompson, 


Dr. Homer Genuug, 

- 1898 


G. M. Watson, 


J. M. Carr, - 


E. F. George, 

- 1888 

Chas. W. Parker, - 

- 1893 

J. M. Carr, - 


W. J. Shaver, - 

- 1894-5-6 

Chas. W. Parker, - 

- 1890 

A. C. Stone, 

- 1897 

No map of Freeville has heretofore been published, but it is be- 
lieved that the one which accompanies this work will be found to be 
an accurate and complete topographical representation of the village 
as it now exists. 

For so level a location Freeville is very fortunate in its water sup- 
ply, many flowing wells having been developed in the village which 
furnish the purest of water in abundant quantities from a depth which 
prevents danger of contamination from surface drainage. 

Riverside Park, on the bank of Fall Creek, although still a private 
enterprise belonging to Harris Roe, affords a commodious and attract- 
ive picnic and audience ground which is generously patronized in the 
summer and autumn mouths. During the past summer the Central 
New York Spiritual Association purchased ten acres of land in Free- 
ville for a permanent camp ground, the location of which is also shown 
on tlie map. 



3 Chas. Shultz, 

4 Sarah Lisdell, 

5 Mrs. Mary Mineah, 

Qroton Avenue. 

3 Seneca Smith, 
5 David Robinson, 
7 Frank Brotherton, 

09 Eurdelte HeCFron, 

II Edwin Smith. 

6 John Brigden, 
S Brigden blacksmith shop, 
lo W. R. Tripp. 

Main Street. 

1 Lewis Cole, 

2 George Brewer, 

3 Mrs. Rhoda Case, 

4 Henrv Brown, 

5 F. Ray Willey, 

6 Wm. Dolson, 

7 X. B. Carl, store, 

8 Chas. Monroe, carriages, 

9 George Dolson, 

10 Chas. Monroe, 

11 H Pettibone, 

12 Geo. I. Shaver, hotel, 

13 J. Pierce, 

14 H. A. Strong. 

15 Albert Tripp, 

16 William Monroe, 

17 Luther Greenfield, 
iS School-house, 

19 M. E. Church, 

20 D. M. Peck, 

21 M. E. Parsonage, 

22 J. M. Carr, 

24 Sarah Bowers, 

25 Will Cady, 

26 Freeville Leader, 

27 Wm. Skillman, 

2S Mrs. C. Chapman, 

29N.J. Ogden, 

30 Blacksmith shop. 

I W. E. Sutfin, store, K, of I 

Hall, Postoffice, 
i H. W. Roe store, 
> Chauncey Hanshaw, 
' Dr. H. Genung, 
i George Cady, market, 
) J. M. Carr, drugs, 
) Dr. H. Genung, 
: J. Kells, 

! F. E. Darling, hardware, 
; Jerome Heffron, 
^ F. Ray Willey, store, 
; George Watson, 
I H. D. W. DePuy, grocery, 
' O. Luther, 
I Ernest Blackman, 
I John Edsall, barber, 
F. Reeves, h 

blacksmith shop. 

56 Brotherton 

57 J. M. Shav 

58 W. J. Shaver, 
60 R. Duryea. 

Dryden Road. 

2 E. M. Seager, 

3 C. L. Johnson, 

4 D. H. Snyder. 
6 Frank Burton. 

Yates Avenue. 

2 John T. Cole, 

3 J. L. Larkin, 
S John Yates, 

7 Morris Stack. 

Union Street. 

2 E. A. Sovocool. marl 

3 Lois Cooper, 

7 Harriet A. Hubbard, 

8 W. E. Sutfin, 

9 E. C. Smith, 

10 Lyceum Hall, 

11 Henry Sevy. 


Wood Street. 

: Chas. Parker, 
1 Mrs. G. Francis, 

Rlchardion Street. 

2 W. H. Richardson, 
and warehouse. 
Railroad Street. 

2 Mfs. C. Darling, 

3 Mrs. A. L. Smiley, 

4 J- B. George, 

5 Gtorge DePuy, 

6 Mrs. Mary Puderbaugh, 

7 F. T. Reeves, 

8 D. G. Howell, mittens, 

9 Townley shoe shop, 
10 Mrs. D. G. Howell, 
Ti Btrt Carr, bakery, 

14 L. V. Depot, 

16 Baggage room, 

17 Smith & Blackman, offic 

18 Eliza Grinnell, 

19 Smith & Blackman, war. 

20 John J. Giles, 
22 John E. Cady. 

linu Hall, 
ienihly Hall, 


76 Milk Station. 



The George Junior Republic is a project which, for the })ust few 
years, has excited o;reat interest throui^hout the whole extent of our 
country, and its influence as an educational force is rapidly beconnng 
world-wide. In 1887 W. R. George, born near West Dryden, the son 
of John F. George and Eleanor Baker (George), went to New York 
city to engage in business. Being at heart a philanthropist, he spent 
many spare moments in forming friendships with the urchins on the 
streets of the East Side, and in striving to benefit them. 

Their wretched surroundings so impressed him that, in the summer 
of 1890, aided by the Tribune Fresh Air Fund, he brought twenty- 
two children with him to spend his vacation of two weeks. These 
children Avere fed by kind neighbors and frieuds in the vicinity of 


Freeville. For the next four years Mr. George brought out nearly 
two hundred and fifty children each summer for a stay of two weeks. 
During these years the plan of the Republic was slowly evolving. Mr. 
George saw that, while the two weeks of vacation gave the cliildren 
a breath of fresh air and were helpful to them in many ways, the bene- 
fits could not be very permanent ; the problems of pauperism and 
crime were still far from being solved. Brought up in homes of deg- 
radation and vice, having received most of their education from the 
slums, many of these children were accustomed to living " from hand 
to mouth. " Many had been trained by their parents to depend on 
charitable societies for their subsistence, and their self-reliance was 
almost entirely lost. Others had come to consider it a glorious thing 
to be a " tough " and to be brought before police courts. 

Mr. George tried experiments in making them work for their food 
and clothes and in having juries, composed of their peers, to judge 


them for their misdemeanors. These attempts showed him that the 
children were more self-reliant and more careful of their possessions 
when they paid their way ; that, in trials by jur}-, these miniature men 
a,nd women were more just in their decisions than were adults, because 
they could much better appreciate the situation ; and that to be ar- 
rested, tried, convicted and imprisoned b}' citizens of their own size 
was a real punishment for the offenders. From these premises he 
argued that they might be trusted to make and enforce their own laws, 
to be entirely self-governing. Accordingly, in the summer of 1895, 
the Republic was formed. 

It will, of course, be impossible to enter into details concerning the 
courts, the police department, the industrial classes, the school, the 
legislature, and all the varied activities of this little state. Much has 
been written concerning this enterprise in the best papers and maga- 
zines of the country. 

The George Junior Republic is duly incorporated under the laws of 
the state and owns and occupies a farm of forty-eight acres, formerly a 
part of the Cady place, situated nearly one mile southeast of the Free- 
ville postoffice, but within the corporate limits of the village. Other 
land, adjoining this farm, is rented and in the near future the Associa- 
tion will develop more fully the property which it owns. A view of 
their grounds is here given, and the location of their buildings as they 
now exist is shown on the map of Freeville. 

The Republic has, at present, accommodations for about two hun- 
dred summer citizens and about fifty that stay throughout the entire 
year. It is achieving success and will undoubtedly attain to large 
proportions as the years pass b3^ But, better than all the material 
success which has been gained, are the mighty steps forward in the 
solution of that vast problem, the dealing with the poor in large cities. 

The postoifice was established at Freeville during the War of the 
Rebellion, the Rev. I. Harris becoming the first postmaster. Mr. 
Harris was connected with the Sanitary Commission, which required 
a visit to Washington, upon which he presented a petition to the post- 
office department and secured the location of the Freeville office witli 
himself in charge of it. 

After one or two unsuccessful efforts to maintain a newspaper 
at Freeville, The Leader, in charge of E. C. Smith, is now a lively 
weekly sheet which seems to be permanently established. 

It should be remembered that as a business place Freeville is only 
about a quarter of a century old. Thirty years ago the locality of the 
railroad station was a lonely farm, then owned by George W. Tripp. 


A stump fence even then lined a large part of what is now the main 
street of that village. After the establishment of the railroad junction 
in 1872 it was through the earnest and well-directed efforts of such 
men as Otis E. Wood, Albert C. Stone and John W. Webster that the 
destinies of Freeville as a village were cared for and properly shaped. 

Freeville is too young to claim much connection with the pioneers 
of the township. Elder Daniel White, the first settler in this localitv, 
has already been mentioned in connection with the building of the 
grist-mill and the settlement of the town itself, and we may also speak 
of the Shaver family, whose ancestor, John C. Shaver, originally from 
New Jersey, early in the century came to Ithaca, where he was active- 
ly engaged in building boats and boating on the waters of Cavuga 
Lake and through the Montezuma Marshes, Wood Creek, Mohawk 
and Hudson rivers to Albany, N. Y., which was the chief navigation 
from Ithaca to Albany and New York at that time. After leaving 
Ithaca he located with his family. May 6, 1823, on the farm where Wm. 
J. Shaver now resides. 

Of his children, Ira C, the eldest, born in the year 1817, still resides 
at Freeville with his son Willard, one of the Centennial Committee ; 
Julius M. and Wm. J. also reside in Freeville on the old homestead ; 
Elizur W. lives in Portland, Oregon ; Marcus D. also lives in Free- 
ville ; Ermana married Samuel Hanshaw, who is one of the most 
prominent farmers of the town of Ithaca; Mariah A. married Jacob 
Kline, also a wealthy and prominent farmer of the town of Ithaca. 
Mr. and Mrs. Kline are the parents of J. B. Kline, of Syracuse, N. Y., 
a foremost lawyer of that place and at present district attorney of 
Onondaga county. 



Doubtless every old school house in the township has a record and 
a history, which, if properly reduced to writing, would be interesting 
and instructive reading. There is something especially fascinat- 
ing connected with the education of children, and the story of the 
experiences of both the teacher and the pupil in their combined 
efforts to impart and develop, as well as to receive and apply, in- 
struction is always interesting; but we cannot undertake here to 
write up the history of every school-house in Dryden, and what we 
shall say of this one, which has some especially interesting features 



about it and wliicli is, in a general way, typical of the rest, must suf- 
fice for all. 

If the plain and dingy walls of the brick building, a likeness of 
which is here given, commonly but inaccurately called the "Eight 
Square School House " could but tell their own storj' in such a way as 
to be fully understood, they would furnish an eloquent history which 
the writer of this chapter can but imperfectly imitate. They could 
truthfully say that within their iuclosure were taught at least four 
school children who became supervisors of the town of Dryden, viz : 
Jeremiah Suvder, Smith Ilobertson, Hiram Snyder and Lemi Grover ; 


two, sherifls of Tompkins county, viz: Thomas liobertson and Smith 
Robertson ; two, school commissioners, viz : Smith Robertson and Al- 
viras Snyder ; one, a presiding elder, Wm. Newell Cobb ; two, county 
superintendents of the poor, Jeremiah Snyder and AVm. W. Snyder ; 
one, a millionaire, Orrin S. Wood; numerous others who became bank, 
telegraph and insurance managers as well as railroad superintendents, 
and last, but not least, one pupil of the gentler sex, Mary Ann Wood 
(Cornell), who in after years was destined to become the wife- of a mil- 
lionaire philanthropist and the mother of a distinguished governor of 
our Empire State. 


The age of this venerable but well preserved school-bouse is about 
seventy-five years. We think that some one had given us the exact 
date of its construction and the name of its chief builder, but if so the 
memorandum of it has unfortunately been mislaid. However, the })re- 
cise date is not essential. From the year 1815 forward until it was 
built, a period of about ten years, upwards of one hundred pupils of 
school age were annually registered upon the records of the school 
district, (No. 5,) which, although occupying then, as now, a thinly set- 
tled agricultural section of the country, was remarkable in many re- 
spects, and doubtless afi'orded during the first half of our Century Peri- 
od the best educational advantages to the largest number of appreciat- 
ive school children to be found together in the township. At one 
time there were eight families residing in the district — coinciding in 
number with the eight sides of this unique form of a school building — 
which numbered among their members eighty-seven children, lacking 
only one in the aggregate of giving an average of eleven to each, and 
two single families at one time supplied the school with twenty-one pu- 
pils. Prior to about 1825 a small frame structure occupied the present 
site. Even then the greatest efforts were made to secure the very best 
of teachers for this school, some of them being obtained from Cortland 
and further east. During this time William Waterman taught the 
school six years, Almon Brown, one year, and David Reed, three years, 
Elmira (Bristol), the oldest daughter of Benjamin Wood, serving as 

It was during Eeed's administration as principal that it was decided 
that a new school-house must be built, the old building being so 
crowded with the swarms of pupils that some had to be sent out to 
play in order to give others a chance to recite. Accordingly the frame 
school-house was removed to a point about eighty rods north, where 
it served temporarily while the new brick building was being con- 
structed, and afterwards it was sold and became a part of the Elijah 
Vanderhoef residence near the extreme northeast corner of the dis- 

We may well believe that the parents of these school children who 
were to be so successful in after life were not of the niggardly, narrow- 
minded class of citizens and did not begrudge the great efibrt under 
the circumstances required to construct a building Avliich should be, 
as it was for half a century, the best of its kind in the township. The 
prime mo.vers in the enterprise are said to have been Col. William 
Cobb, at the southeast, and Benjamin Wood, at the northeast corner 
of the district, and they were the first to have children who, after 



graduating from this school, sought higher institutions of learning ; 
but the trustees who had charge of the work and who together con- 
ceived of and carried out the particular design were Capt. Geo. Rob- 
ertson, Isaac Bishop and Henry Snyder, the nearest neighbors on 
either side, who employed as chief builder one Balcom from near Mc- 
Lean or Cortland. The brick was then made near by at the Grover- 
Hammond-Metzgar brickyard corners and the Jeremiah Snyder brick- 
yard corners, last operated by Russel Sykes. Many of the less able 
residents contributed the other material and work, while the poorest 
families had their shares contributed by their more fortunate neigh- 
bors. Thus with the greatest harmony, as it is said, and entirely free 
from the jangles and controversies which too often in modern times 
distract and disgrace communities in such undertakings, the eight- 
sided brick school-house became an accomplished reality. 

Reed as school-master was followed by Grinnell, Pelton and others 
in early days and later by such excellent local teachers as Ebenezer 
McArthur, Smith Robertson, Merritt L. Wood, Levi Snyder, Joseph 
Snyder, Alviras Snyder, Orrin S. Wood, William W. Snyder and Ar- 
temas L. Tyler. 

While the Octagonal School House is still serviceable as an institu- 
tion of learning we leave the reader to supply its present success and 
surroundings from other sources, our object being in this as in all 
other matters to emphasize and preserve that which is old and in 
danger of being lost to local history. 



The pioneer families of this section of whom we have been able to 
gather sufficient data with which to make suitable mention are as 
follows : 

Brown, Reuben, came from New Jersey to the town of Lansing 
about the year 1795. 

In 1804 he removed to Dryden, locating on Lot 24. The uuost of 
the original purchase has remained in the family and is included in 
the farm of his grandson, S. N. Brown. In 1797, while living in Lan- 
sing, Reuben Brown was appointed leader of the first Methodist class 
at Asbury, being one of the very first in the county. He continued to 
lead this class for several years after his removal to Dryden, himself 
and wife often going on foot and carrying a child a distance of six 


miles through the then almost unbroken forest to attend church and 
lead his class. This continued until 1811, when a class was formed 
at West Dryden. The oldest and last survivino; son, Freeman Brown, 
was born in Lansing in 1800 and died in 1889. Reuben Brown died 
in 1862, aged 86 years. 

Bush, Captain Calvin, was born in Vermont in 1781, and at the age 
of twenty-one years came to Lansing and was employed by Samuel 
Baker, who owned a large tract of land near Teetertown. Soon after, 
he married Sarah Moore and removed to Dryden, locating first on Lot 
34, on land now owned by W. H. Moore. His son Loren took this 
land and he purchased one hundred acres on Lot 3, now owned by 
Larkin Smith and Alvah Snyder. This was then a dense forest of 
heavy timber, which he cleared off, and here he lived until old age 
disqualified him from longer caring for the farm. Here the old peo- 
ple were cared for by their son-in-law. Freeman, and by their grand- 
son, S. N. Brown, where Captain Bush died in 1864, aged 83 years. 
Before coming to Dryden he was at the head of a company of militia, 
and during the War of 1812 he led his company to the frontier. 

Grover, Andrew, came in 1806 from New Jersey and first settled on 
the property since known as Woodlawn, which he afterwards lost 
from defective title. He then, about 1812, settled where his grandson, 
John S. Grover, now lives, and died in the year 1871. Of his chil- 
dren, Peter was the father of Major Grover, of the 76th Regiment, af- 
ter whom Grover Post G. A. R., at Cortland, is named ; Jacob is still 
living in Michigan, 90 years of age ; Andrew P. was a justice of the 
peace of Dryden in 1849 and 1852, afterwards removing to Michigan. 
Others moved to Michigan and Steuben county, and a daughter, Par- 
nelia Johnson, is still living in Dryden. 

Hance, Thomas, Sr., and sons, Thomas, Jr., and William, also two 
sons-in-law, Cornelius Conover and Benjamin Cook, came from New 
Jersey in 1800 and located one and one-half miles west of " Fox's Cor- 
ners. " Cook afterwards lived on Lot 5. Thomas, Sr., died in 1838, 
at the age of 97, and is buried at Asbury Church. The families were 
Quakers, among the first in town of that sect. Wm. moved to Ithaca 
in 1826, where he and his sons became prominent in business circles. 
William was known in his latter years as " Major Hance, " from his 
prominence in the militia. 

Knapp, Samuel, was born in Belvidere, N. J., in December, 1759, 
and lived to the age of 91 years. He was a soldier in the Revolution- 
ary War and was engaged in the battles of Trenton, Princeton, Stony 
Point and many others, and many were the stories told by him to his 


grandchildren of his trials and suffering. His wife, Charity West- 
fall, was born September 26, 1764, near Trenton, N. J. 

About 1800 the}^ started their journey into the interior, having all 
their possessions in a wagon drawn by a pair of horses. Thus they 
journeyed on, living in their wagon and by the aid of the gun and 
fishing rod, their only means of support, until they reached a place 
near where Varna is now located, from whence they cut their way 
through the woods to their destination and settled on Lot 14, where 
James Lumbard now lives, living in their wagon until a log house 
could be erected. Eight children were born to them, six girls and two- 
boys, Mary, Catharine, Sarah, Betsey, Amy, Cable, Samuel, and Ann, 
who married Wm. Skillings. 

McCuTCHEON, George, was about two years old when his parents,. 
Andrew McCutcheon and wife, Jean Adair, came from Scotland in 
their own merchant sloop to this country. Finding acquaintances iu 
the family of Robert Robertson iu Saratoga township, N. Y., they 
were induced to remain there. When George was about sixteen 
years old he Avas pressed into the ranks of the Revolutionary Army 
and was in the first battle at Bemis Heights. He subsequent!}- en- 
listed, in August, 1777, in Capt. Ball's company. Col. Shepard's Mass- 
achusetts Regiment, and served six years, being honorably discharged 
June 8, 1783, from Capt. Fuller's company. Col. Jackson's regiment. 
He was conspicuously brave in battle, in one of which he led his 
company in the capture of several Hessian regiments. He served in 
the battles of Monmouth, Valley Forge, at Saratoga during the sur- 
render of Burgoyne, and many others. He returned home and after 
several years married Nancy Robertson, sister of Capt. Robertson, and 
they named their eldest son, born September 4, 1790, Robert, after her 
father, Robert Robertson. At the time Capt. Robertson moved to 
Dryden this son Robert desired to go with him and when about six- 
teen years old helped his uncle drive some cattle to his new farm. 

Being greatly pleased with the new country he induced his father,. 
George McCutcheon to move to Dryden. They left Saratoga on Feb. 
26, 1807, performing, the journey by land in ten days, camping by the 
way where night overtook them, sleeping on blankets on the ground,, 
and arrived in Dryden, at Capt. Robertson's, on March 7, 1807. 

They purchased a farm of Philip Robertson, now known as the 
Weaver farm, near Etna, bringing up their eleven children and living- 
there until the mother's death and the father became too. old and 
feeble to care for the farm. George McCutcheon died at the age of 
85. Robert McCutcheon married Mary, daughter of Peter Snyder,. 


Ma}- 4th, 1812, after having volunteered on April 22, 1812, marching- 
M'ith his company in June to Buffalo, where he was in the command of 
Oen. Peterson at Buffalo, along Lake Erie, at Black Bock, and Niaga- 
ra Falls, where they guarded the line. Most of the time he did scout- 
ing duty rarely being with his command, and with his company was 
honorably discharged May 22, 1813, and marched home, arriving in 
July of that ^^ear. 

Peter Snyder had given to each of his sous one hundred acres and 
to each daughter as a dower fifty acres of land about one mile west of 
Etna and along Fall Creek. On the south side of this farm Robert 
built a log cabin of two rooms in July of the same year and in No- 
vember the young couple went to housekeeping. The land was a 
heavy wilderness and Bobert cut down the first trees and made the 
Urst clearing ever made on this land, putting in a crop of wheat about 
the cabin. In after years he added to this land 146 acres, put up 
good buildings on the north side of the same land, which is still in 
the family, being occupied and owned by his sons, Newton and Wm. 

Robert was active in educational aflairs, helping to promote the 
building of the eight-square brick school-house and to form the libra- 
ry association for which it was noted, and especially active in naming 
the books to be purchased for the school library, which were so excel- 
lent in choice that he derived the benefit of almost a college educa- 
tion from them. 

He and his wife were known as Uncle Robert and Aunt Polly to the 
whole neighborhood and his judgment was much sought after by the 
younger generation in all the affairs of life. They raised a family of 
fourteen children : Anna, Rensselaer, Parmeno, Betsey, Delilah ( Em- 
mons,) Jane (Fulkerson,) Marietta (Raub,) Miles, Arvilla (Emmons,) 
William, Catharine (Freeman,) Newton, Norman, Paulina (Peters,) 
of whom only five survive. Robert, after a long and useful life, seven- 
ty-three years of which was spent on the home farm, died in the nine- 
ty-fourth year of his age on February 2nd, 1884. 

Skillings, John, was born in Ireland in 1756. In 1772, at the age of 
sixteen, he came to this country. He was a soldier in the Revolution- 
ary War, having been captured by the Indians but afterwards making 
his escape. At the close of the war he married Miss Betsey Camel 
near Philadelphia, Pa., and about 1800 they came to Dry den and set- 
tled on the farm now owned by N. H. Mineah. They reared a family 
•of 'six children, four girls and two boys, Jolm, Jr., Margaret, Eleanor, 
•Sally, Betsey, and William Skillings. 


William Skilliugs married Miss Ann Knapp in the year 1827 and 
commenced keeping house on the farm now owned by N. H. Mineah. 
In 1836 he bought the farm now owned by James G. Sutlin, where he 
lived a few years and then moved on the farm now owned by S. M. 
Skillings, where they lived and died. Five children were born to 
them : John, who died in infancy ; Eastman, who died at the age of 
26 ; Betsey, who married Enos P. Moseley and now lives near the old 
homestead ; Charity, who married Wm. J. Sutfin and lives across the 
way from the old homestead ; Helen, who married James G. Sutfin,. 
and now lives on the old Ward farm near by, and Samuel, who now 
owns and occupies the old homestead. 

This briefly is the history of the Skillings family in Dryden. Chil- 
dren and grandchildren there have been, but among them all there is 
now but one left to hand the name of Skillings down, and that is Fay, 
the only son of Samuel Skillings. 

Smith. In the early years of the century five brothers, Benjamin, 
Isaac, Jacob, John and Henry Smith, with their widowed mother, left 
Stroudsburg, Pa., and came into tlie wilds of New York State. They 
selected land on Lot 11 in Dryden and began clearing off the timber. 
At the breaking out of the War of 1812 the four brothers first named 
volunteered and served throughout the war. Soon after returning 
Benjamin died. Isaac removed to Danbv and later to Ohio. Jacobv 
John and Henry remained on the original purchase until their deaths' 
Their mother lived to the age of 104 years. The land is still held in 
the family, Ex-Sherifi' William J. Smith and the heirs of James Smith, 
who were descendants of John Smith, being the present owners. 

Van Nortwick, Simeon, Avith his family, came from New Jersey early 
in the j-ear 1804, settling on the extreme northeast corner of Lot No. 
15, for which he traded property in Monmouth county, N. J., the 
transfer having been made in the year 1802. Among the witnesses to 
the deed as now appears upon the old document itself was Jacob Van- 
derbilt, the father of Cornelius Vanderbilt, who afterwards accumii- 
lated such a vast fortune, and whose descendants now wield such a 
powerful influence in the financial world. Upon their arrival in their 
new home it was found necessary to go four miles, nearly one mila 
west of West Dryden, to obtain a live coal to start their first fire. 
William Van Nortwick was six years old at this time, afterwards was 
a well known and prominent farmer until his death in 1866 at the age 
of 68 years. Sarah A^an Nortwick still lives on the same farm where 
her grandfather settled ninety-eight years ago. 




This division includes all of the south-west quarter of the town ex- 
cept the Varna neijijhborhood, which has been treated separately, and 
also includes Lots 94 and 95 which are now a part of Caroline, but 
for historical purposes are still claimed as a part of Dr^^den. 

The Free Will Baptist church on Snyder Hill, in this section, was 
organized April 8, 1824, with Elder Edward E. Dodge as pastor, and 


W^essels S. Middaugh and Daniel Heeves as deacons. The additional 
charter members were Salmon Hutchinson, Samuel Sn3'der, Benjamin 
Quick, Belden Meade and Chauncey Lee. The church building now 
in use was erected in 1856, but has lately been repaired and fitted up 
in modern style. The land upon which the church and school-house 
now stand was donated by Joseph M. Snyder, son of Jacob Snyder, 
the first permanent settler upon Snyder Hill. 

The following are the names of the pastors of this church : Edward 
Dodge, Amos Daniels, Stephen Krum, H. H. Strickland, O. C. Hills, 
J. W. Hills, Oramel Bingham, J. M. Crandall, A. J. Wood, Evans, 
AVilliam Russell, L. D. Howe, S. W. Schoonover, Brown, D. D. Brown, 



Woodruff, Cooley, F. D. Ellsworth, Charles Pease, Estiis Tan Marter, 
A. C. Babeock. 

For a few years past a postoffice has been maintained at Ellis Hol- 
low under the name of " Ellis," and in 1896 a new M. E. church was 

erected there, of which 
we are able to give the 
accompanying view. 
Until the erection of 
this building the class 
connected with it met 
in the school-house, the 
pastors being in 1896 
Rev. J. E. Showers and 
since then Rev. Francis 
H. Dickerson. 

Among the early in- 
habitants of this sec- 
tion of whom we are 
not able to give any 
family history are Is- 
rael Brown, Obadiah 
Brown, Z e p h a n i a h 
Brown, John Cornelius, 
Tobias Cornelius and 
Joseph Middaugh, a 
reference to Reuben 
preceding chapter. But we shall bring 
under the heads of its pio- 


Brown having been made in a 

in the history of this section ])rincipally 

iieer families, of whom we have records of the following: 

Brown, Zephaniah. (See Chapter VI.) 

Bull, Aaron, and Krum, Matthew, who were brothers-in-law, Mr. 
Bull having married Krnm's sister, settled on one hundred acres in 
the southeast corner of Lot No. 95. They came from Marbletown, 
Ulster county, N. Y., now in Olive, of the same county. Mr. Krum's 
father, Henry W., was the owner, and the young men came to settle 
jind clear it up in the year 1806, Krum in June and Bull in September. 
Bull had the south half and lived only a short distance from the south 
line of the Military Tract, then the soiTtli line of Cayuga count}'. He 
was a very bright, active, hard working man but of very little educa- 
tion, and it is said that he could not read or write until his wife taught 
him. He was originally from Bull's Bridge, on the Housatonic River, 


ill Connecticut, aud came tlieuce to Ulster county, N. Y., where he 
njarried into the Krum family. Mr. Bull lived on the Dry den lot 
twelve years, when he bought the Cass Tavern, on the Turnpike (now 
the Henry S. Krum place), where he afterwards lived and died. He- 
purchased of Nicholas Fish (father of Hamilton Fish) a large part of 
Lot 85 aud adjacent lands in Dryden and engaged in lumbering, own- 
ing and managing, with his sons, a couple of canal boats. His fam- 
ily have always held an influential position. 

Matthew Krum was of Holland Dutch descent and the ancestor 
of the most of the Krums of this county. He lived aud died on the 
place now known as the Aaron B. Schutt farm. John Schutt, the 
father-in-law of RulofF, also married a sister of Krum. 

Cobb, Lyman, the author of Cobb's readers, spelling books, and oth- 
er school books extensively used in early times in Central aud West- 
ern New York and Pennsylvania, formerly lived in the white house 
near Snv'der's Station, on the E., C. & N. railroad, a little east of Var- 
na. He had his books published at Ithaca and the covers were made 
of thin boards covered with blue paper. He was born in Canaan, 
Connecticut (or, as some say, in Lenox, Massachusetts,) in the 3'ear 
1800, and in his youth came with his father's family to Berkshire, 
Tioga county, N. Y., locating about a mile east ofSpeedsville. He 
afterwards taught school at Slaterville about three years and it was 
here that he compiled the first edition of his spelling book published 
by Mack & Andrus about the year 1819. He was afterwards a teach- 
er in Ithaca. His wife was a daughter of Ephraim Chambers, who 
at one time resided on the Dan Eice farm in Ellis Hollow, and his 
sister was Mrs. Thomas Davis, who resided in Dryden from 1840 until 
her decease in 1860. 

Genung, Benjamin, was a Eevolutionary soldier, born May 10, 1758, 
■and enlisted at Hanover, Morris county, N. J., in February, 1776, in 
Capt. Lyon's company of Col. (afterwards General) McDougall's regi- 
ment of th6 New York line for one year. He was in the battle of 
White Plains and in the retreat from New York after the battle of 
Long Island. In January of the year 1800 he bought of Bev. Asa 
Hilyer, of Morris county, N. J., a part of Lot No. 93 of Dryden, and 
in that spring he came to his new home with a yoke of oxen and wag- 
on carrying all of his household goods and farming utensils, as well 
as his family, consisting of his wife and six children. Thev^ came by 
way of the celebrated " Beech Woods " in Pennsylvania to Owego 
<nud from there to Dryden, stopping with a man by the name of Iruna 
Peat ou Lot 9'A until he could locate his purchase, a part of Lot 93, 


where he settled on the hind now owned by one of his grandsons, Ben- 
jamin Genung, Jr. Two of his sons, Barnabas and Aaron, were in. 
the War of 1812, the latter, born December 25, 1787, being in the 
company of Major Ellis. His daughter Rachel married Wm. Pew, 
who came to Ithaca in 1803, and many of their descendants are now 
living in Ithaca and Dryden. His remaining children were Timothy, 
Pearon and Philo. 

Joseph A. Genung, a son of Aaron, born in Dryden January 17, 
1835, is an active member of the Centennial Executive Committee, his 
postoffice being Ithaca although residing in the town of Dryden. 

In addition to Joseph A. Genung, Aaron had two other sons and 
three daughters. One son, Luther, married Phoebe Banfield and set- 
tled and died in the town of Danby, leaving a son, Amasa T., now re- 
siding in Ithaca. Another son, Jacob, married Angeline Pew and re- 
sides in the vicinity of Ellis Hollow. One daughter, Mary, married 
Jesse English and they resided on Snyder Hill. Another daughter, 
Rebecca, married John English and resided on Snyder Hill. Another 
daughter, Lockey, married James Hagadorn and they resided at Spen- 
cer, N. Y. 

Joseph A. Genung married in 1859 Mary E. Cornelius and they had 
three daughters. Of these, Estella E. died in 1878, aged 17 years ; 
Nellie M., born 1864, graduated at the Ithaca High School, married 
William Gillmer, a farmer ; Mary Josephine, born 1876, prepared at 
the Ithaca High School, graduated at Cornell University 1897, mar- 
ried Leon Nelson Nichols, graduated at Cornell University 1892, a 

Dr. Homer Genung, of Freeville, and Dr. Benjamin Genung, of Wy- 
alusing, Pa., are sons of Benjamin Genung, son of Philo. 

Dr. John A. Genung, of Ithaca, is a son of John, son of Philo. 

The Genungs were nearly all of them prominent and respected 

Hammond, Thomas and Alice (Stone). Shortly after the year 1800, 
presumably in 1803, there removed from Scituate, Providence county, 
Rhode Island, Thomas Hammond, in time of peace a seaman in the 
coast towns trade of New Bedford, Providence and New London, and 
attached to the vessels of war during the Revolution. He was born 
at or near that locality about 1730 and married Alice Stone, the daugh- 
ter of Peter and Patience Stone, of that place. From them are de- 
scended one wing of the Benjamin Wood family, of Western Dryden,^ 
and of the Ezra Cornell family of Ithaca. 

Thomas, giown too old to longer go before the mast and endure the 


rigor of the sea, still courted adventure in the haunts of the deer, bear, 
wolf and Indian, his earlier skirmishes with all of the last named hav- 
ing found more in him, in accord with his tastes, than even the sea 
fisheries or the comi:)arative quiet of the war vessel. He therefore re- 
moved to the far frontier of Chenango Valley, N. Y., about 1803, tak- 
ing with him his numerous family and several other friends (he being 
a man of push and leadership), together with all his earthly belong- 

This was not only a tedious but perilous journey, as it was per- 
formed with the proverbial ox team of that da}', but on foot for all 
who could walk. The only entrance to his destination lay via Albany 
and the Hudson River crossing and the Mohawk and Chenango val- 
leys to Oxford, N. Y. At this point the state was concentrating some 
interest by its highway cutting into the more westerly wilds, Avhere 
the deer, bear, wolf and Indian had to be successfully routed, fur- 
nishing the excitement craved by Thomas, and an inducement for 
work to his grown and industrious children, and other kin of the party. 

Of this party were his wife, Alice ; his daughter. Amy, and 
her husband, Nathan Wood ; his grandson, Benjamin Wood ; his 
grandson-in-law, Orrin Squire ; his son, Daniel Hammond, and his- 
family, all of whom figure conspicuously as pioneers of Western Dry- 
den, and who were clever artisans in brick making, cooperage and 
weaver's reed making, all essentials in opening new colonies. 

Their first settlement was made at Oxford, next at Sherburne, next 
at Quaker Basin near DeRuyter ; thence they came to Willow Glen a 
little later than 1815, and finally reached, about 1820, the south-west 
quarter of great lot No. 32, better known as Supervisor Lemi Grover's 
corner, and Woodlawn, next east. Here, after having buried the hus- 
band, Thomas, in Chenango Valley, the wife, Alice, lived and died, 
and is buried beside her daughter Amy (Wood) in the Captain George 
Robertson cemetery, a few of six generations following hers still 
clinging near there to-day. 

William Wigton, the old hotel-keeper at Willow Glen, where now 
stands the Moses Rowland residence, became a conspicuous land own- 
er in Western Dryden, with headquarters at this Hammond-Grover 
corner ; and he was succeeded in the ownership of the Willow Glen 
hotel by Daniel Hammond, and also as landlord thereof. 

A little later on Daniel also succeeded Major Wigton as owner cf 
the Grover southeast corner of Lot 32 and Woodlawn. Upon this 
corner Daniel Hammond and his sons, assisted by Orrin Squire and 
Benjamin Wood, opened the first brickyard of Western Dj-yden ; and 


from the material furnisbed, the " eight-square " brick school-house 
was largely built. 

From the pioneer Alice, through her son Thomas, is descended 
the numerous Hammond family of Y^irgil ; and through George and 
William and his wife, Polly Tanner, come the now well known law 
iirm of Hammond & Hammond, of Seneca Falls, N. Y. 

From pioneer Alice, through her daughter Amy and her husband, 
x^athan, and their son Benjamin Wood, and his wife, Mary Bonesteel, 
are descended the conspicuous Wood family, of Western Dryden ; and 
through their daughter Mary Ann, whose husband was Hon. Ezra Cor- 
nell, of Cornell University fame, comes Ex-Governor Cornell, Chief 
Financier Frank C. Cornell, and Chief Civil Engineer O. H. Perry 
■Cornell, nine children in all, only five of whom came to mature age 
and still survive ; and they own the two-hundred-acre farm known as 

Haened, William, and Hanna Crilisteen were married in New Jer- 
sey in the year 1794, and within a few years removed to Dr3'den. He 
built his first log-house on the north bank of Cascadilla Creek, a little 
east of the present bridge near the residence of Edwin Snj'der. He 
was one of the highway commissioners elected at the first town meet- 
ing of Dryden held in 1803. Of a family of seven, one daughter, 
Mary, married Thomas George, Eliza married Dr. Harve^^ Harris, and 
Clarissa married Peter I. Rose, an early settler of the town. All are 
now deceased and S. M. George, of West Dryden, is believed to by 
the only descendant of Wm. Harned now residing in the towai. 

Harris, Dr. Harvey, an early physician of the town, registered at 
Ithaca in 1828, first practiced at West Dryden, afterwards at Etna for 
many years and finally moved to Illinois, where he died after 1860. 

MiDDAUGH, Joseph, and his son Wessels S. came to Dryden in 1807, 
from near the borders of Orange county, N. Y., where it joins the state 
of New^ Jersey. They were of Dutch descent and first settled in Dry- 
den on one hundred acres of land near Ellis Hollow, to which the}^ ad- 
ded by subsequent purchases and upon which they are both buried- 
For several years they kept a tavern. 

Wessels S. was a supervisor of the towm and raised a large family of 
sons, among whom were Ovrin, the father of Fred and William Henry ; 
Wessels, Jr., who now owns the Judge Ellis homestead at Ellis Hollow ; 
and Harrison, who married a grand-daughter of both Judge and Major 
Ellis. One of his daughters mairied Edward Mulks, avIio succeeded to 
the Middaugh homestead and whose daughter, Mrs. C. L. Lull, now 
■owns it. 


Palmerton, Ichabod, whs the father of Marcus and Sylvauiis Palmer- 
ton, and was one of several who followed Peleg Ellis from lioyal 
Grant, in Herkimer county, to Ellis Hollow. He came in 1801, the 
year after Ellis arrived. From the same place soon after Asa Hurd 
came and settled on the present Gray farm, Van Allen on the Dan Rice 
farm, Joseph Smith on the Willey farm and Nathan Gosper on the 
E. J. Thomas farm. 

Robertson, Philip Schuyler, was born in Saratoga county, N. Y.,. 
May 4, L774. His name was given him by Gen. Philip Schuyler, of 
Revolutionary fame, who gave with the name a life lease of fifty acres 
of land in Saratoga county. 

His father, Robert, who was also the father of Capt. George Robert- 
son, served during the Revolutionary war and died soon after its close, 
when Philip was but seven years of age. He lived with his uncle, 
George McCutcheon, for several years, and then commenced working' 
with his brother, George, at the carpenter and mill-wright trade, mak- 
ing that his business for several years in Saratoga. In 1798 the two 
brothers, Philip and George, each driving a yoke of oxen and accom- 
panied by two young men, said to have been Jared Benjamin and 
Walter Yeomans, (but others say one of them was Moses Snyder),^ 
started from Schuylerville, Saratoga county, for the West, coming l)y 
the way of the Mohawk Valley, Ithaca and Auburn, to the lot (No. 53) 
where M. J. Robertson now lives, arriving March 12, 1798. Philip 
lived with his brother George, until his marriage, July 25, 1802, to El- 
sie Sweezy from New Jersey. From that source there came seven 
children, George, Robert P., Mary, Peter, Allen, Anna ( Snyder ) and 
Oakley, of whom only the last two named survive. 

Philip bought of his brother George the east part of the lot and lo- 
cating upon that part now known as the Weaver farm, then all a per- 
fect wilderness, he cleared thirty acres. As they had neither hay nor 
straw for their oxen they fed them upon browse from the trees as they 
cut them. During the work of clearing, Philip unfortunately had a 
tree fall upon him, breaking his thigh and crushing his left hand as- 
it rested on his axe helve, besides injuring him internally and making 
him a cripple for the rest of his life. 

That spring he planted among the logs four acres of corn, doing the 
work on crutches, and in the fall harvesting the crop of two hundred 
bushels of ears. Cutting and piling the logs that fall, they then sowed 
the land to wheat. On his way from his farm to the home of his 
brother George, where he boarded, the first season, he shot and killed 
seven deer without hunting an hour. He also shot a wildcat and 


<3oon ; the latter, very fat, weighed sixty pounds and supplied grease for 
a barrel of soap. 

For several years he lived upon and improved this place and then 
sold it to George McCutcheon and bought a place on the Bridle Road 
above Etna. Clearing about j&fteen acres of this place he sold it and 
bought a farm above Varna on the same road, building a house and 
clearing a part of the land. This place he sold and moved to Brutus, 
Cayuga county, where he remained two years and then returned to 
Dryden, where he bought a quarter section of Lot No. 3, on the State 
Road, which was all wild land. He cleared this last place, where he 
died August 4, 1842, and the farm still remains in the family, 

Snyder, Jacob. In the spring of 1801 a family of emigrants set out 
from Essex county, N. J., traveling through the " Beech Woods " to 
Owego and thence to the present town of Ithaca. That family con- 
sisted of Jacob Snyder, his wife, three sons and one daughter, the 
youngest child being a year old and the oldest twelve. The father 
was a skilled workman in three trades, tailoring, carpentering and 
blacksmithing, as people now living can testify. Upon their arrival 
tbe family took up temporary quarters and waited for a time in order 
tha ttitles to the land might be investigated before purchasing, and 
thus avoid the spurious titles then so frequently met with. Mr. Sny- 
der finally bought of James Glenny, of Virgil, (a grantee of a Revolu- 
tionary soldier. Lieutenant Wm. Glenny, to whom the lot had been 
awarded,) one hundred acres of land on Lot 82, for the consideration of 
$330. The deed, executed Sept. 14, ] 802, was a relic on exhibition at 
the Centennial. He later purchased a part of Lot 92, which passed 
into the possession of his sons Daniel and Peter. Of the original 
purchase on Lot 82, a part afterwards belonged to his sou Joseph M. 
Snyder and is now occupied by his sons Jacob and Harry. The 
daughter, Rebecca, who married Aaron, the son of Benjamin Genung, 
came into possession of the old homestead of the original purchase of 
1802, which is now owned and occupied by their son, Joseph A. Ge- 
nung. Upon this old homested there is still standing the same barn 
that was built by Jacob Snyder in 1806. He built his permanent 
dwelling in 1808, a substantial structure of hewn pine logs, which was 
occupied until 1872 and is still in a condition for use for many more 
years as a place of storage of farming utensils. 

From this early settlement by Jacob Snyder the entire region grew 
to have the name of Snvder Hill, which it still bears. 




Upon Lot No. 21 of Virgil, John Gee, a Revolutionary soldier wlio 
liaJ drawn that lot, came and settled, according to Bouton's History, 
June 17, 1796, and some of his descendants still reside upon it. His 
nearest neighbor was four miles off at that time ; but a few years later, 
probably in 1802, Joseph Schofield and his son Ananias settled on the 
adjoiniog Lot 20, of Dryden, and Joseph became one of the town of- 
ficers when the first town meeting was held in 1803. In this extreme 
northeast corner of the township several mechanics, including the Ma- 
son, Hutchings and Bates families, early located ; and on a branch of 
Beaver Creek, which still flows, but with diminished volume since the 
country has been cleared up, through the gully at the foot of Gulf Hill 
on the road to Cortland, and a short distance up-stream from this road, 
was established in the year 1809, according to Bouton's History, the 
Hutchings grist-mill, which accommodated the Virgil as well as the 
Dryden people in that section. This was more than twenty years be- 
fore any grist-mill existed in Dryden village, but seven years after 
the White mill had been established at Freeville. It was here, near 
this pioneer grist-mill, in the town of Dryden, that the Hutchings ap- 
ple had its origin. Not only was the grist-mill operated by them for 
a number of years, but a rake factory and other industries flourished, 
and it is claimed that the first successful power threshing machines 
were manufactured here. But these mechanics, or that portion of 
them who did not become farmers, afterwards drifted oft' to McLean 
and Malloryville, where tlie water power was more lasting and abund- 
ant and it is now a matter of surprise that a small branch of Beaver 
Creek near its source could ever have been considered capable of fur- 
nishing the water power necessary to run a grist-mill. 

A thrifty and intelligent class of farmers have, however, always 
flourished in this section of the township, of a few only of wliom 
are we able to give details, as follows : 

AiXEN, Wyatt, came to Dryden in 1805 from Aurora, Cayuga county, 
settling on the farm now occupied by John Mullen. In the year 1840 
he removed to Dryden village, settling on South street where he died. 
Among his descendants is George W. Bradley of Dryden. Two of his 
brothers came later, married into the Foote and Clausou pioneer fam- 
ilies of Willow Glen and moved with their families to the far West. 

Carmer, Isaac, and brother Jacob, came from near Essex Court 


House, in New Jersey, about the year 1801, aud settled on Lot No. 20 
on one of the farms since owned by G. M. Lupton, where he died in 
January, 1853, within a few days of one hundred and two years of age. 
His children have long since died, but his grandchildren include 
Chester and Cleveland, children of his son John. The brother Jacob 
settled on the hill immediately south of Dryden village and his de- 
scendants are now believed to be non-residents. 

GiVENS, Samuel, was an early settler in this part of the township,, 
concerning whom we can give but few particulars. His descendants^ 
now residing or having died here are numerous, including Amos K.,, 
the father of our Darius Givens, of Dryden village ; Col. Chas. Giv- 
ens, an early town ofiicer and the father of Edward and the late Wm. 
R. and Thomas ; Lettie G., the mother of G. M. and Z. Lupton ; Sar- 
ah, the wife of Abram Griswold ; William, the father of Cortland Giv- 
ens ; and Jane, the wife of Zebulun Miller. 

Hill, Joseph, and Sarah Bancroft were married at Flemington, N. J., 
November 30, 1809, and started for Dryden the same season. Two 
teams brought their goods. They drove two cows and made butter 
on the way by putting the milk in churns, the motion of the wagon 
bringing the butter. Mr. Hill had the choice of a section (six hun- 
dred and forty acres) of land in Seneca county or one in Dryden. He 
chose the latter on account of the pine timber. The land lay in Lot 
No. 6, upon which was already a small log cabin, but during their first 
night a heavy wind blew off the roof. 

Mrs. Hill had been anxious to leave New Jersey, as it was the cus- 
tom for farmers to keep slaves, and although her husband was home- 
sick and wanted to move back she would not consent to go, as she 
did not like to live where they kept slaves. She wove woolen and 
linen cloth and in this wa}' helped pay for clearing the land. 

Joseph Hill died September 12, 1853, 71 years old. Sarah Bancroft 
Hill died April 8, 1874, 86 years old. 

They had a family of eleven children : Mary, the oldest, married 
Hiram Graves, settled in Moravia and left a large family. Ambrose 
married Sarah Hart and finally settled on the old homestead. He left 
a family of four children. Isaac taught school in Dryden at one time 
in a school-house at or near the home of Chas. Perrigo. He married 
and moved to Dundee and again moved to Bay City, Mich., where he 
left a family of five children. Martha married James Van Etten and 
settled in Albany, N. Y., where Mr. Van Etten died. She afterward 
married Mr. Buck, of Chemung, and left three children. Elias B. did 
not marry and died young. Harris married and lived in Peruville, N. 


Y., several years and afterward moved to Warren, Pa., where he left 
three children. Lucinda married S. C. Fulkerson and always lived in 
the town of Dryden. She left five children. Stacy B. married and 
moved to Canada. He left three children. Sarah married Ezra 
Beach, of Peruville. She left one child. Lorena married Edwin J. 
Hart, of McLean, who died April 16, 1895. In 1870 she married A. 
H. Vough, of McLean, and they live at present one-half mile west of 
McLean. Mrs. Vough is the only living child of Joseph and Sarah 
Hill. Thomas, the yonngest son, did not marr}'. 

Edwin Hill, a son of Ambrose, still lives on the original homestead. 

LuPTON, Nathan H. W., came to Dryden as a school teacher in 1815 
or 1816, from Orange county. He was at one time a hotel keeper and 
in later years a thrifty and industrious farmer, among whose descend- 
ants now residing in the township are his sons, G. M. and Z. Luptou, 
and their children. 

McKee, James and Robert, brothers, from Stewartstown, County 
Tyrone, Ireland, came to this country soon after the year 1800, James 
arriving first. Eobert came in 1806, being six weeks and three days 
out of sight of land on the voyage. Coming up the Hudson river as 
far as Albany he there hired a teamster with a yoke of oxen and a lum- 
ber wagon to bring them through the forests to Dryden, where James 
was already located on what is now the Wm. B. Hubl)ard place, two 
miles north from Dryden village. Robert bought the adjoining Sick- 
mon farm and built a log house near the line between the two farms. 
This habitation consisted of one room with a ground floor and bark 
roof, greased paper for windows and a blanket for a door, blocks of 
wood serving as chairs, and a pile of brush for a bed. They had 
brought with them two large chests well filled with clothing and bed- 
ding, and some provisions and tools with which to work. 

The nearest postoffice Avas Milton (Lansing) and Mrs. McKee at one 
time went on horseback through the woods to Ludlowville, being 
guided by the marked trees, and paid out her last fifty cents in money 
to get a letter from her parents in Ireland. 

The McKees were, however, thrifty and prosperous people and soon 
gained a foothold in their new home. Robert, in addition to farming, 
carried on a distiller}^ and was at the same time a leading member of 
the Presbyterian church at Dryden village. By his first wife there 
were three children, viz : James R., Mrs. Leonard Hile and Mrs. Jane 
West. By his second wife there were twelve children, two boys and 
ten girls. Mrs. Mary McKee, who was the second wife of Robert, 
was a sistei- of Thomas Lormor, Sr., the old gentleman who was the 



ancestor of the greater part of the Lormor family in Dryden and died 
here about twenty-five years ago. In the earlier times Mrs. McKee 
spun and wove the clothing for the family, but in later years when her 
girls were grown up she bought calico for their dresses. At one time 
she went to Quigg's store, in Ithaca, and, after purchasing several dress 
patterns, the young clerk who was waiting upon her, desiring to be 
sociable, remarked that she must have quite a family of girls to re- 
quire so much dress goods. " Yes, " said she, " I have at home ten 
girls of my own and each of them has two brothers and a half. " The 
clerk, who prided himself on his figures, computed in his head that it 
would make her the mother of thirty-five children, which, he said, was 
impossible, and offered to bet her a new dress that she was overstating 
it ; but she insisted that her statement was true and accepting the wa- 
ger agreed to leave it to the proprietor, who knew the facts and de- 
cided that she was entitled to the dress from the clerk. The two 
brothers were her own two sons, Robert and Thomas, and the half 
brother was James R., the son by the first wife. The ten daughters 
included Charlotte (Sickmon), the youngest and only one now living ; 
Catharine (Out), the mother of Mrs. Geo. H. Hart, of Dryden village ; 
Ellen, the wife of John Morgan ; Sally, the first wife of Peter Mineah, 
and Mary, the wife of Thomas Mineah. 

Robert McKee died in 1845 at the age of 77 years, while his wife 
survived until 1873, when she died at the age of 90. James McKee 
also left a large family of children, of whom one was John, the father 
of Samuel, William, and others, and another was Mrs. Alvin, the moth- 
er of the late James H. Cole. 

Mineah, John, the ancestor of the family in Dryden having that 
name, not often met with elsewhere, came very early in the century 
from New Jerse}^ with the McElhenys, the two families having been 
already connected by marriage. He located in the section of the town- 
ship north and east from Freeville, where numbers of his descendants 
still reside. Of his daughters. Mar}- Ann was the first wife of Abel 
"White, and Betsey married Charles Niver, who lived near Peruville. 
Of his sons, William was the father of George, John, James, and 
others ; James was the father of John H., Nicholas, George, and oth- 
ers ; Thomas was the father of Robert, while John, Jr., was the father 
of Edwin D., of Eagle Grove, Iowa. Two daughters of John, Jr., Al- 
bina and Anna, were formerly school teachers in different districts of 
the township and are now proprietors of a ladies' select school in Chi- 
cago. The daughters also included Mrs. Luther Griswold, of Dry- 
den, and Mrs. D. C. Avery, of Baltimore, Md. 


Seager or Sager, ( spelled both ways.) This family consisted of a 
number of brothers and a sister who came from Orange county to 
Dryden early in the century. Jacob came first in 1808, John in the 
fall of 1809, Philip, who was born in 1799, and his sister Katie, a little 
later. Jacob and Katie afterwards moved to Bath, Steuben county, 
but John first settled on Lot 39 near where Elliott Fortner now resides, 
afterwards removed to Lot 40, where he lived until his death at the age 
of 94. He came in a covered emigrant wagon by way of Owego, and 
from there up the Turnpike to Ithaca and then to Lot 39 in Dryden, 
where he and his family arrived in January, 1810. It was very cold 
and the snow was deep. They were obliged to live for three days in 
the wagon until they built a log house, which for a long time had nei- 
ther door, window nor fireplace. They used a blanket for a door, 
and built the fire on the ground. There they lived in this way all win- 
ter with five small children, viz : Abram, Henry, Betsey, Joanna and 
John. That winter John, Sr., cut and prepared for bui'ning eight acres 
of heavy timber, in place of which he planted corn the next summer. 
Three children were born to them in Dryden, viz : Kobert, Samuel 
and Katie Ann. John Seager and his children altogether cut and 
cleared about one hundred fifty acres of land in Dryden. 

John and Abigail, his wife, were exemplary citizens, loved and re- 
spected by all who knew them. Kobert, one of the younger children, 
who lived and died upon the old homestead, was throughout his 
long and useful life one of the first to find out and relieve distress, and 
his works for good in and out of the M. E. church, of which he was an 
active member, will long be remembered. 

Philip came to the town of Dryden in early manhoood, first stopping 
with people who lived on Lot No. 20 and in 1827 he married Anna, 
daughter of Capt. John Gardner, a wagon master of the Continental 
army, who assisted Washington in crossing the Delaware. Gardner 
came from New Jersey, locating on the farm still owned by his son, 
Kobert B. Gardner. In the year 1830, Philip Seager purchased the 
farm on Fall Creek now owned by his son George. There was on 
it, even at that time, a small frame house, which is still standing in a 
fair state of preservation as a relic of the old dwelling, but the log 
barn, which was also there when Philip Seager purchased the farm, 
disappeared a few years ago. 

After many years of toil and privations, such as were known only to 
the early settlers, and after accumulating a comfortable fortune, Mr. 
Seager passed away at the advanced age of 85 years. In his declining 
years he enjoyed relating how he and his good wife managed to get 


along, raising a large famil}' and many times not having fift}' cents 
ahead. He drew all of his grain in these early days to Cayuga Lake 
with an ox team, himself going barefoot. His wife spun and dyed 
wool for the clothing of the family in winter and flax for summer use. 
Philip Seager was a man of excellent judgment, determined stability 
and good common sense. 

ScHOFiELD, Joseph, alread}^ referred to in the beginning of this chap- 
ter, came from Stamford, Conn., and settled on Lot No. 20 in the year 
1802, being the earliest pioneer in that part of the township. Anani- 
as, the oldest son, accompanied him, as well as David, who was then 
an infant, and afterward the father of our Henry Schoheld. Solo- 
man, a son of the pioneer Joseph, was a clergyman and wrote a book 
describing the scenes and incidents of the pioneer journey of his par- 
ents to Drj'den. Theodosia (Bacon), a daughter of Joseph, was the 
mother of Mrs. Harriet Carpenter, now an old lady of Dryden village, 
who is therefore a grand-daughter of pioneer Joseph. 

Sherwood, Andrew, a soldier of the Revolution, accompanied by his 
son Thomas, came from Poughkeepsie, of this state, in 1802, and locat- 
ed on Lot No. 9. He died at the age of ninety-nine years. Thomas, 
the son, took part in the War of 1812, was a miller b}' trade and a 
worthy citizen. His eleven children, all of whom are now deceased, 
are the ancestors of many present residents of Dryden. 

SuTFiN, the pioneer of the Sutfin family in Dryden, who is supposed 
to be the Derick Sutfin who is recorded as a justice of the peace of 
the town in 1803 and a town clerk and one of the charter members of 
the Presbyterian church society in Dryden village in 1808, came from 
New Jersey in 1801 and settled on Fall Creek on what is now the 
Duryea farm. In 1808 tradition says that he built a frame barn, one 
of the first, if not the first, in the township, and to do the raising of 
the frame he was required to call upon his neighbors from three towns, 
the inhabitants were then so few and far between. 



This corner of the township includes Dryden Lake, of which a view 
has already been given at page 3 of this volume. It is located in a 
good farming locality near the summit which divides the streams 
which flow southerly into the Susquehanna from those which flow 
northerly into the St. Lawrence system of watercourses. 


James Lacy, the youngest one of the five brothers who came to Drv- 
deu from New Jersey Id 1801, was the first to settle near its shores, 
and he soon built a dam at the outlet, thereby enlarging its natural 
capacity and furnishing power for a saw-mill which he soon construct- 
ed for the purpose of manufacturing lumber from the abundance of 
pine which was there found. At one time five saw-mills were operat- 
ed upon the outlet flowing from the Lake before Dryden village was 
reached and at least one saw-mill existed at the head of the Lake 
upon its inlet. 

Some species of fish were found naturally existing in the waters of 
the Lake when first discovered, but others, including pickerel and 
perch, were afterward introduced and have multiplied, furnishing ex- 
cellent fishing for an inland town, which is appreciated by the inhabi- 
tants for many miles around. A number of flat-bottom boats are kept 
and rented b}^ the proprietors of the Lake for fishing purposes and are 
in great demand annually from the fifteenth of May, when the fishing 
season begins. For some years past the saw-mill at the outlet has 
been allowed to run down for the want of raw material and the only 
use made of the Lake except for fishing and pleasure parties has been 
the ice harvesting industry, which has developed within a few years 
into an extensive business in its season. A large storage ice-house 
has been erected on the bank near the railroad by the Philadelphia 
Milk Supply Company, and at the proper season large quantities of 
ice are harvested and stored or shipped at this point, which combines 
the advantages of a high altitude, pure lake water, principally derived 
from springs in the neighborhood, and convenient transportation. 

In this connection we are obliged to chronicle an event which hap- 
pened in this locality December 18, 1887, the murder of Paul Layton. 
He was a farmer who had formerly lived on Long Island, near New 
York, and had lived in Dryden quite a number of years, owning and 
occupying a large farm to the northeast of the Lake. Of a somewhat 
miserly disposition, employing only cheap help with whom he lived, 
and having no family of his own, Mr. Layton had acquired consider- 
able property and was frequently known to carr}^ a good deal of mon- 
ey about his person. At the time of his death in the winter time he 
had no one living with him and he was chiefly employed in caring for 
his stock, which required his attention about the barn, situated in a 
secluded location some little distance from the highway. Here, on 
the morning of December 18, 1887, he was found wiih his skull broken, 
evidently from the efl'ect of blows upon the head, but with no evidence 
as to who had committed the crime. His pocketbook, in which he 


carried his money, was gone and it was concluded that money was the 
incentive which influenced the villain to commit the deed, but al- 
though great efforts were made to investigate the matter, no satisfac- 
tory proof as to who committed the act was ever obtained, and it 
seems likely ever to remain an unsolved mystery. 

Of the pioneer families of this section we can only mention : 

Bailey, Jesse, who, with his son Morris, bought thirty acres of land 
on Lot 56, upon which they were living as early as 1804, being a part 
of the farm now owned and occupied by Cyrus Tyler. Morris Bailey 
is named among the original members of the Baptist church of Etna 
in 1804 and he was the father of the Bailey brothers for so long a 
time residents of Dryden village but only two of whom, Wm. and 
Amasa, now survive. 

Carpenter, Abner, whose deed of about three hundred acres of land 
on Lot No. 70, near the head of Dryden Lake, bears date March 17, 
1804, was among the very earliest settlers in that part of the town, 
where some of his descendants still reside. There seems to have 
been a controversy between him and Jacob Hiles at the foot of the 
Lake as to some rights connected therewith and among his papers we 
find the bond of Jacob Hiles, executed December 3, 1814, according to 
which they agree to submit to John Ellis, Jesse Stout and Joseph 
Hart all of the matters in controversy. 

Of the children of Abner Carpenter, Laura married Wm. Tillotson ; 
John moved to Cortland ; Harry moved to Illinois ; Barney remained 
in Dryden, where he died in 1892 ; Daniel moved to Groton ; Polly 
married Henry Saltsman and went West, and Candace married Jarvis.. 

Deuel, Reuben, was a Quaker and an early settler on Lot No. 76, in 
what is now known as the Dusenberry neighborhood. He was a shoe- 
maker and came to Dryden from Orange county, N. Y., about 1806. 
We have already referred to him as one of the traveling shoemakers 
who in those days went about from house to house among the farm- 
ers making up their home-made leather into boots and shoes. 

He was the ancestor of the Deuel families of Dryden and Caroline, 
which have intermarried with many other families, and T. S. Deuel, of 
Dryden village, is his grandson. His children included Morgan, Ly- 
man and David Deuel, and Mrs. Thos. Freeman, of Etna. 

Hemmingway, Deacon Samuel, about the year 1810, bought and 
cleared up the farm now owned by Cyrus Knapp on Lot 65. He has- 
already been mentioned in connection with Etna as one of the found- 
ers of the Baptist church there in 1804. 


HoLLiSTER, KiNNER, a few years later, about 1813 or 1814, settled on 
Lot No. 85, clearing up the farm now in possession of his grandson, 
Frank Hollister. 

HiLES, Jacob, with his sons John and George, came from New Jer- 
sey early in the century, purchasing the Lake mill property of James 
-Lacy before 1814. John succeeded to this property, upon which he 
resided for many years and finally died, leaving a large family and 
considerable property. The widow of Jacob became the second wife of 
Judge Ellis. George Hiles married Percy West and was the father 
of Harrison and John W. 

Powers, Elijah, settled on Lot 86, where Chauncey L. Scott lived 
years ago. He was there as early as 1807 and in 1808 he built a saw- 
mill called the Bottom Mill, which passed into the possession of the 
Yan Pelts many years later. This was the first saw-mill built on Up- 
per Six Mile Creek and antedated others at Slaterville. 

Rummer, Gabriel, came to Dryden and located in this section in the 
year of the total eclipse (1806) and left children which included Anne 
(Stevens), Levi, Polly (Purvis), Eli, Lydia (Ballard), and Phoebe F. 
(Joyner). Peter Rummer, who owned the farm now known as the 
Rummer farm in Dryden village, and his son Cyrus were of another 

Simons, Benjamin, was born January 29, 1766, and came to Dryden 
from Orange county, settling upon South Hill in 1808 with five chil- 
dren and his wife, Isabelle McWilliams, who was a native of Scotland. 

Of the children, John and James went later to Allegany county ; 
Andrew to Pennsylvania ; Jane married the Rev. Reuben Hurd, an 
early minister of the Presbyterian church in Dryden village, and they 
afterwards moved west ; Sarah married Edwin Cole. Benjamin, Jr., 
the old gentleman who recently died here, had remained in Orange 
county until after his marriage, and Adam was born after his parents 
came to Dryden, the former being the father of our Andrew Simons 
and liis sisters and the latter of Nancy, Luther, Henry and William. 
Benjamin, Sr., was a devoted pioneer in the Presbyterian church of 
Dryden and went on foot to Orange county about 1820 to secure aid 
for the completion of its building. 

Smith, Wm. R., came to Caroline in 1816 and cut a road from Nor- 
wood's Corner to the Pumpelly lot. No. 100. He cleared sixty-five 
acres, upon which he built a log house in 1820. His father had served 
in the War of 1812 from Massachusetts, and he was the oldest of a 
family of seven children, all of whom came to this section of country. 
He had married in 1818 Polly Vickery, and to them were born thir- 


teen childreD, which include Cynthia O'Cain, who lives in Iowa ; Bet- 
sey Amy and Hannah Eastman, who have died ; Mary Ann Schutt ; 
Adelia Whitman ; Clara Quick ; Sarah Hulslander ; Frances Oak ; 
and Ellen Cinderella. Two boys, William R. Smith, Jr., who recently 
died, and Gilbert, who is living-, have children who reside upon and 
near the old homestead in the extreme south-east corner of the town- 
ship. The old gentleman died September 30, 1881, 83 years of age. 



This institution, of which the whole town of Dryden is justly proud, 
was organized in the month of July, 1856, under the Act of 1855 for 
the formation of Agricultural Societies. The project was first agitated 
by H. D. Rumsey in his publication called " Rumse3-'s Companion, " 
being the first newspaper published in the town, the first number of 
which was issued in the spring of that year. The society's first ex- 
hibition was held on the small grounds which the society leased of 
Col. Lewis Barton, opposite to the present permanent location, and 
the principal attractions were all shown under a large tent procured 
from Ithaca, for the use of which a rental of seventy dollars was paid. 
The date was October 8 and 9, 1856, the total receipts being $525.63, 
$140 of which was borrowed money and should be deducted to ascer- 
tain the actual proceeds of the first fair, and the expenditures were 
$475.33, as shown b}^ the report of the treasurer. It was considered a 
great success at the start, although, as seen from the foregoing figures, 
the first exhibition did not pay expenses and the receipts were not 
one tenth part of the receipts of the last exhibition of the societ}'. 
The temporary grounds contained about four acres, not one-fifth of 
the present grounds, Avhich are found none too large to accommodate 
the recent fairs. 

The first officers of the S(~)ciety were Elias W. Cady, president ; Jere- 
my Snyder, vice-president ; Otis E. Wood, secretary, and David P. 
Goodhue, treasurer. The directors were Charles Givens, Luther Gris- 
wold, Zina B. Sperry, Freeman Stebbins, Caleb Bartholomew and 
James H. George. Encouraged bj- the success of their first exhibi- 
tion, which then seemed great, the citizens of the town united their ef- 
forts to make the societ}' jDermanent. At the first annual 'meeting, 
held at Blodgett's hotel in January, 1857, Smith Robertson was elect- 
ed president and John Mineah, vice-president, the other officers being 


substantially re-elected. It was bj this board of officers, under the 
intelligent and wise guidance of their leader, that the foundations of 
the future success of the society were laid. Permanent grounds and 
buildings were decided to be essential and in order to secure them a 
considerable amount of money was required. In order that the own- 
ership of the property might rest with the people of the Avhole town, 
scrip was issued in shares of ten dollars each and taken by leading 
citizens in all parts of the township, so that the title and" interest in 
the success of the enterprise might be distributed as widely as possi- 
ble. This scrip, which is carefully worded to favor the society as to 
the terms of payment, and is still held by the people of the town, who 
have never received any payment of principal and but a ver}' few 
years, interest on these contributions to the capital stock of the socie- 
ty, reads as follows : 

" Dryden, N. Y., October 15, 1857. 

" The Dryden Agricultural Society, in consideration of a loan, agrees 

to pay to ._ _ , or bearer. Ten Dollars, payable as 

soon as the funds of the society will admit, with interest annually 
from date. For which payments the property of the society is here- 
by pledged to the holder. , 

', " S. Robertson, President." 

" Alviras Snyder, Secretary. " 

Of this scrip 223 shares were taken, furnishing, with $781 which 
was borrowed on a note of John Southworth, about three thousand 
dollars, with which the permanent grounds were to be provided. The 
original purchase of eight acres was made of John Southworth at 
$125 per acre, and the main Fair house, a duodecagon in form, was 
built by Daniel Bartholomew as contractor, upon a plan somewhat orig- 
inal, at a cost of about one thousand dollars. This building is a mod- 
el in its way, for the purpose for which it was designed, having been 
fmitated by numerous agricultural societies in the West, and no 
one ever claims to have seen a building so completely adapted to the 
requirements of a country fair. A track was then constructed under 
the supervision of Amos Lewis, as large as the grounds would admit, 
one hundred and twelve rods in length, surrounding in its circuit all 
of the principal buildings. The construction of the tight board fence 
and other smaller buildings exhausted the funds and with these ac- 
commodations the succeeding exhibitions of the society continued to 
be annually held. In the last year of the war (1864) the receipts of 
one day of the exhibition were given for the benefit of the Ladies' 


Sanitary and Christian Commission under the local management of 
Mrs. A. McDougall, and about fifteen hundred dollars was thus real- 
ized in aid of the comfort and care of the disabled soldiers at the seat 
of war. Upon this date Hon. Daniel S. Dickinson, of Binghamton, 
then a man of national celebrity, addressed the multitude in a manner 
which is still rememberd by many who listened to him upon that oc- 
casion. Since then Governor David B. Hill, Hon. Frank Hiscock and 
Hon. Warner Miller have delivered addresses at these annual exhi- 
bitions, which have been uniformly well attended. The finances of 
the society have not always been successfully managed, and in two or 
three instances unfavorable weather has materially diminished the re- 
ceipts. At one time a law-suit, brought against the society for dam- 
ages growing out of a collision on the track, threatened serious trouble 
and imposed considerable unusual expenses from which the society 
sufiered some embarrassment, but as a general rule the weather has 
been favorable and the results very creditable to the managers. 

About eighteen years ago the grounds were enlarged by renting for 
a term of years of the Southworth estate about ten acres in the rear, up- 
on which a half-mile track Avas extended wholly north of the main build- 
ing, which adds much to the safety and convenience of the ground ; and, 
within the past year, an additional purchase of three acres, was made 
widening the grounds in front. During the past ten years under the 
energetic and able assistance given to the management of the aff'airs of 
the society by its eflicient secretary, J. B. Wilson, as well us others, 
the exhibitions have become exceedingly successful and popular, and 
many improvements have been inaugurated and new features added 
by means of increased receipts and state aid, which has been received 
for two years past, without increasing the small indebtedness which 
has usually existed. Within the last few years a large grand standi 
capable of seating one thousand people, has been constructed facing 
the track, and very commodious sheds and covered pens have been 
constructed, for the accommodation of horses and stock. The front 
fence of a fair ground inclosure is usually a weather beaten, rick- 
ety affair, covered with rough boards, liberally plastered over with 
unsightly advertisements in a helter-skelter fashion, making it any- 
thing but attractive in appearance. As an example of what our of- 
ficers have originated and done for the society within a recent date, the 
old fence in front was torn down and a new one built of the best ma- 
terial, finished in panels of planed pine boards painted white, which 
were sold as space for advertising purposes, in which the purchasers 
were required to have painted attractive and tasty advertisements^ 


some of which are really artistic iu their novelty and design ; and in 
this way the present fence more than paid for itself and has become a 
source of revenue instead of expense to the society. This feature, due 
to the practical enterprise and forethought of our Dryden officers, has 
since been followed iu other places. 

All the buildings inside of the grounds have recently been painted 
white, and, with the tents scattered about, give one the impression 
of a white city when entering the grounds. A marked improvement 
has also been made in the management of the exhibitions, eflfectually 
excluding from the grounds all gambling devices and the sale of in- 
toxicating beverages, as well as preserving good 6rder in spite of the 
large attendance. It may be safely said that the affairs of the so- 
ciet}^ were never in as prosperous condition as they are now, 
the present management, with good reason, predicts that, with as 
good a fair as it had last season, exceeding in its receipts all pre- 
vious exhibitions, it will be able to turn over to its successors 
the society entirely out of debt, with all of the present substantial im- 
provements fully paid for. At some periods of its history the horse- 
racing element has seemed to predominate and to run the societ}' into 
unnecessary expenditures ; but within the past few years this feature 
of the exhibitions has been made to subserve rather than dominate 
the management of its affairs, and increasing prosperity and popular- 
ity of the Dryden Fair has been the result. Still, due regard has been 
had to the 'claims of the horsemen, and upwards of a thousand dollars 
has been expended upon the construction and improvement of the 
present track, which has a record of 2:20|, is ditched and fenced 
throughout, and is so well constructed and graded as to be adapted 
to all kinds of weather. 

Among the features developed in later years, is the public dancing, 
none too well accommodated in a building originally built for an eat- 
ing hall, where the 3'oung men and maidens from all the country round 
meet and publicly dance to good music in a manner fi-eed from many 
of the objectionable features which attend all-night public dances at 
j)Oor country hotels. 

At the last fair the exhibition included over four hundred head of 
stock ; the awarded premiums, which have always been paid in full, ex- 
ceeded two thousand dollars ; and the total receipts, as shown by the 
report of the treasurer, were more than foiir thousand six hundred 
dollars, the attendance probably exceeding ten thousand people, at 
least more than double the number of the whole population of the 

»-.. .! 



As illustrating the popularity of the Dryden Fair in our neighbor- 
ing towns and villages, a traveling agent came into town on the train 
from Cortland in the afternoon of the last day of the last year's ex- 
hibition with a discomforted look on his countenance. When asked 
what the matter was, he said he had started out that morning in 
Cortland to sell some goods to the merchants. In the first store at 
which he called he was told that the proprietor was attending the fair 
at Dryden and Avould not return until evening. Having a similar ex- 
perience at the second and third stores he visited in the usual course 
of his business, he concluded it was a poor day in which to find 
Cortland merchants, and he started for the livery barn, intending to 
drive to some of the neighboring villages, such as Truxton, Solon, etc., 
which were included in his route ; but when he reached the livery 
ofl&ce he was informed that the proprietor had let every conveyance 
which he could rig up to go to the Dryden Fair and had gone himself 
to take the last load. Completely discouraged, he returned to his ho- 
tel inquiring when there was a train for Dryden, declaring that he too 
was going to the Dryden Fair where all of his customers had gone be- 
fore him. 

The principal officers of the society from its organization to the 
present time are as follows : 


Elias W. Cady, 
Smith Robertson, 
John P. Hart, - 
Alviras Snyder, 
Peter V. Snyder, 
Charles Givens, 
Jacob Albright, 
Nathan Bouton, 
C. Bartholomew, 
Luther Griswold, 
Robert Purvis, 
A. B. Lamont, 
Chas. Cady, 





Lemi Grover, 
R. W. Barnum, 
O. W. Wheeler, - 
G. M. Lupton, 
Martin E. Tripp, - 
G. M. Lupton, 
G. M. Rockwell, - 
John H. Kennedy, 
Theron Johnson, - 
Benjamin Sheldon, 
Chester D. Burch, 
Seward G. Lupton, 

- 1872-3 


- 1875 

- 1883 

- 1885 

- 1887 

- 1890-4 


Otis E. Wood, - 1826-7 

Alviras Snyder, - - 1858-9 

Luther Griswold, - 1860 

M. Van Yalkenburgh, - 1861 

Alpheus F. Houpt, 
Simeon Snyder, 
W. S. Mofiat, - 
Henry H. Houpt, - 




C. D. Boutou, - 


W. E. Osmun, 

- 1874-6 

Alviras Snyder, 

- 1868-9 

Wm. H. Goodwin, 


John H. Kennedy, 


Geo. E. Monroe, - 

- 1883-4 

Geo. E. Monroe, - 

- 1871-2 

A. M. Clark, - 


Alviras Snyder, 


Jesse B. Wilson, - 



D. P. Goodhue, 


Isaac P. Ferguson, 


Thomas J. McElheny, 


Wm. I. Baucus, 


Eli A. Spear, - 


J. B. Fulkerson, 


D. P. Goodhue, - 

- 1864 

David E. Bower, - 

- 1885-7 

Eli A. Spear, - 


DeWitt T. Wheeler, - 

■ 1888-98 

Walker Marsh, - 

- 1872 



From the prominence of the Ellis pioneers in the early history of 
Dryden, and the fact that many of the present inhabitants trace their 
ancestry back to that family, a special chapter is here devoted to its 
early history. 

From an old family record we find that Gideon Ellis and Elizabeth 
(Manchester,) his third wife, lived, before and during the War of the 
Revolution, at West Greenwich, Rhode Island, where they became the 
parents of seven children, of Avhom three were destined afterwards to 
become the ancestors of many Dryden people. One of these was 
Oliver, born July 2, 1769 ; another, John, born May 22, 1771 ; and the 
youngest, Peleg, born May 9, 1775. An older half-brother, Gideon, 
Jr., Avas a pioneer of Cayuga county, and some of his descendants are 
now living at Aurora and Ithaca. The three brothers mentioned emi- 
grated to Fairfield, Herkimer county, N. Y., before the year 1800, 
where Oliver met an accidental death, never having come to Dryden, 
but his w^idow, Hannah (Reynolds,) afterwards settled with some of 
her children near Malloryville in Dryden, and two of her daughters 
became successively the wives of Andrew K. Fortner, the son of an 
early pioneer of Dryden, and another, Susan, the wife of Charles 
Grinnell, both soldiers and afterwards pensioners of the War of 1812 ; 
and another, Lovina, was the old lady, Mrs. Grant, who recently 
died in Dryden village. There are many descendants of Oliver now 
living in other places and some descendants of the children named 
still reside in Dryden. 



John Ellis before leaving Ehocle Island had married Rhoda Rath- 
burn. There had recently died at Royal Grant, Herkimer county, Dr. 
Samuel Cook, a Revolutionary surgeon of the 5th N. Y. Regiment, to 
whom had been assigned four lots of the Military Tract, a surgeon's- 
bounty. In March, 1768, John purchased of the Cook estate Lot 23 
of Virgil, upon which he settled in the same year. After remaining 
there about three years he sold that lot to Moses and Isaac Olmstead 
and came to Dr5^den, first settling near Malloryville in 1801, whence he 

removed to Ellis Hollow a 
few years later. His first 
wife having died, he after- 
A\'ards married the widow 
of Jacob Hiles, the ances- 
tor of the Hiles family in 
Dry den, and took up his 
residence on the farm now 
owned by Wesley Hiles, 
where he died in 1844. 
His prominence in the po- 
litical history of the town 
!^is unrivalled, he having 
held the position of school 
superintendent, co m m is- 
sioner of highways, and 
other offices, in addition to 
having been supervisor 
twenty-seven years, four- 
teen of which were con- 
secutive, member of as- 
sembly twice, and judge 
MAJOR PELEG ELLIS. ^f ^1^^ Q^^^^t of Common 

From an old picture ill the possession of the family. PleaS of botll CaVUffa and 

Tompkins counties. In our times a politician who holds the office of 
supervisor of his town for a few years subjects himself to sufficient 
criticism and envy to blast his future political ambition, if he has any ; 
but it was not so with Judge Ellis, whose record as an office-holder of 
the town of Dryden will doubtless always remain unequalled. He was 
a large land-owner and acted as the agent of a few non-resident hold- 
ers of Dryden real estate, notably the McKay and Howland estates. 
At one time he was connected in land speculations with Daniel J. 
Shaw, who was then a Dryden village merchant. 

THE ELLIS FA:\riLY. 193 

Of his children, Charlotte married Charles Hart ; Betsey, James Mc- 
Elheny ; Amelia, Mahar Wigtoii ; Nancy, John Southworth ; and Ly- 
dia, her cousin, Warren D. Ellis, of Varna. His sons were James, 
Ira, Willett, John, and Peleg second. To those who are familiar with 
the present inhabitants of Dryden these names will suggest many of 
the descendants of Judge Ellis, "King of Dryden." 

Peleg Ellis, the pioneer of Ellis Hollow, as we have seen, exchanged 
his real estate in Herkimer county with the same Cook estate for Lot 
84 of Dryden, to which he came, as has already been described in a 
former chapter, in 1799. Here, on the headwaters of Cascadilla Creek, 
he built his log house, to which the next year, on July 12, 1800, he 
brought his wife, Ruth (Dawley,) and two daughters, Mary, aged about 
four, who afterwards married Silas Hutchinson and died about five 
years ago aged 96 years, and a second daughter about two years of 
age, who died in childhood. Ten children were born to them at the 
Ellis Hollow home, viz : Delilah, bom Jan. 30, 1801, who married 
David Mulks, of Slaterville ; Olive, who married James Malks, of 
Ithaca ; Lydia, who married Benjamin Ames ; Mahala, who married 
Peter Worden, of Dryden; Warren D.; Ruth, who married John H. 
Kimball, of Berkshire; Huldah, who married her cousin, John C. Ellis, 
of Rhode Island ; Sally, who married Mareuus Ellis, late of Freeville ; 
John J. Ellis, and Ann H., the widow of John M. Smith, late of Ellis 
Hollow. Of these, four daughters are still living, viz : Ruth, Huldah, 
Sally, and Ann H. 

Peleg died May 9, 1859, aged 84 years upon that day. His wife 
survived him until 1870, when she died in her ninety-third year. 

Major Ellis was not, like his brother John, a politician, but in early 
life turned his attention to military affairs. When the War of 1812 
broke out, being captain of the early state militia in Dryden, he vol- 
unteered with his whole company, instead of waiting as others did to 
be drafted ; and instead of refusing to cross the Niagara River when 
the battle of Queenston was about to be fought, as did so many of the 
New York militia at that time, he followed across the frontier under 
the leadership of Winfield Scott, with his whole company, under Col. 
Bloom, of Lansing, and at the conclusion of the battle, together with 
about forty of the Dryden men, was among the prisoners of war • 
but they were immediately paroled and sent home. Like some oth- 
ers, Major Ellis acquired in his army experience the habit of the 
intemperate use of intoxicating drink and in after years when he in- 
dulged too freely his martial spirit manifested itself and he would go 
through the manual of arms, in imagination commanding his company 



as of 3'ore, with all the preeiseness and dignity of actual military 
service. As his years grew upon him, however, he came to realize 
that his intemperate habits, first acquired in the army, were a detri- 
ment to him, and with a resolution stronger than many men of our 
times can muster, he suddenly broke himself of the growing habit, and 
his last few years were characterized by his strict sobriety and a 
religious life. 

John and Peleg Ellis were men deservedl}^ popular and influential 
with their associates, both being selected as leaders of their fellow 
citizens, one in political and the other in military affairs. Both per- 
formed their duties faithfully and well, and both were so constituted 
as to become ornaments of the generation in which they lived and 
worthy of the honor and gratitude of their posterity and of the subse- 
quent generations of the township which they served as leaders in 
their respective capacities. 

For a portrait of Judge Ellis see frontispiece of this volume. 



We here treat of that branch of the Snyder family which descended 
from the pioneers Peter and Christopher Snyder, now constituting a 
multitude, and who have cherished and preserved their family history 
since leaving their old home at Oxford, N. J. The details of their 
pioneer journey and earh^ settlement in Dryden are so carefully and 
minutely given, affording some new facts regarding pioneer life and 
manners, that we are pleased to insert in full the annals of the family 
as prepared and revised under their family organization, which has an 
annual meeting in our town called the " Snj^der Picnic. " Another 
branch of the family, descending from the pioneer Jacob Snyder, who 
came to Dryden from near the same locality and at about the same 
time, probably more or less nearly related to a common origin, set- 
tled near and gave its name to " Snyder Hill, " and is treated of briefly 
among the pioneer families of the South-west Section. 

The following is the history of the Snyder family of the town of 
Dryden which was read by Alviras Snyder at the first annual picnic of 
that family, Friday, September 18, 1874, and lately revised by him : 

In the latter part of the winter of 1746-7, a colony of about one hun- 
dred Germans emigrated from near Tinnen and near the Ems River, 
n the extreme western part of Germany, and near the Holland line, 


and settled in the northwestern part of New Jerse}-. Among this 
Dumber was Cristoffer Schneider (meaning a tailor) and his wife, Ka- 
trina, who settled in what was then Sussex but now Warren county, 
near Oxford and Oxford Furnace on what was known as Scotch Moun- 
tain. It is about five miles from the village of Belvidere, in a south- 
westerly direction, and two to three miles from the Delaware River. 
Trenton was their nearest market, being about sixty -five miles distant, 
and Greenwich, since changed to Montana, was their postoffice. 

There were born to them five sons and one daughter. The sons' 
names were Christopher, George, Peter, "William, and Henry, and their 
only daughter was Anna, who married John Shults. The youngest 
son, Henry, remained on the old homestead, and the son William and 
the daughter settled near by. The son George settled in Genoa, Ca}'- 
uga county, N. Y. The four older sons were in that part of the Con- 
tinental Army of the Revolutionary War which was stationed in New 
Jersey. The musket that Peter carried in the service and brought 
home with him was very short, having a flint lock, and was sold after 
his death, at his vendue, to some person residing in the eastern part 
of the town of Dryden. 

Peter Snyder was born in Oxford township December 26, 1752, and 
died July 23, 1832. He was both a wagon-maker and a blacksmith by 
trade and at the marriage of each of his children presented them with 
a wagon, chains, and other utensils necessary for farming. He kept 
the teams shod until he became infirm. His shop was located just 
north of the four corners near Bradford Snyder's, and where the creek 
now runs. In 1776 he married Mary Shaver, also a German, Avho was 
born in the township of Oxford, June 25th, 1753, and died October 20, 

There were born to them eleven children, viz: Elizabeth | (Nail), 
born October 25, 1777, and died September 22, 1802 ; George, born 
May 11, 1779, died May 9, 1843 ; Henry, born May 2, 1781, died Au- 
gust 29, 1870 ; Catharine (Grover), born June 28, 1783, died January 
18, 1860; Peter, born April 15, 1782, died June 25, 1875; William, 
born April 9, 1787, died December 4, 1878 ; John, born February 12, 
1789, died February 26, 1861; Anna (Whipple), born February 1, 
1791, died February 26, 1811; Abraham, born November 23, 1792, 
died October 4, 1857 ; Mary (McCutcheon), born July 17, 1796, died 
March 7, 1865, and Jeremiah, born October 25, 1799, died May 7th, 

Early in April, 1801, Peter Snyder and his brother Christopher 
came to the township of Dryden, then Cayuga county, and selected 


Lot No. 43, Avliich tbej intended to purchase. Tlie}^ though tlessl}' and 
incautiously revealed their choice to one William Goodwin, who im- 
mediately proceeded to Albany and purchased the lot, consisting of 
six hundred and forty acres, from the state. Shortly thereafter the two 
brothers, on arriving at Albany, learned of the purchase by Goodwin, 
but they subsequently bought the entire six liundred and fort}' acres 
of him for three dollars per acre. Immediately on their return to 
New Jersey the two brothers and Henry, son of Peter, and George 
Dart, son-in-law of ChristoiDher, came to Dryden and chopped the 
trees from six acres of land on their newly acquired farm on the west 
side of what is now Bradford and Delilah Snyder's farm, and on the 
northwest bank of Fall Creek, after which they returned ho.i:.e. In 
August following the two brothers and George Snyder and George 
Dart returned, logged and burned over the six acres that had been 
chopped the previous spring. They purchased wheat of one John 
Ozmun, in the town of Lansing, for three shillings per bushel, sowed 
their fallow and returned home. 

On the first day of June, 1802, Peter Snyder and his entire family, 
together with his son-in-la'sv, Henry Nail, and wife and child, consisting 
of sixteen persons, together with all their worldly goods packed in three 
lumber wagons covered with Avhite canvas, started for their future 
home in the Far West. One of these wagons was drawn by two span 
of horses, one by two yoke of oxen, and the other by a span of horses. 
The three sons, William, John, and Abraham, barefooted, drove eight 
cows the entire distance through the woods. 

They were accompanied by Christopher Snyder and family, Jacob 
Crutts, son-in-law of Christopher, and family, and George Dart and 
family. There were in all thirty-two persons, ten teams, and six 
wagons. They crossed the Delaware river at Belvidere, came through 
what was known as the Beech Woods in Pennsylvania to Great Bend, 
and thence to Owego. From Owego there was a track cut through the 
woods as far as Pewtown, one mile east of Ithaca, along which they 
came. They were obliged to cut their own road from Pewtown to 
Judd's Falls, whence they came up the Bridle Eoad and arrived at the 
inn of George Robertson on the evening of the eighteenth day of June,^ 
having been eighteen days on their journey and having traveled a dis- 
tance of one hundred and sixty-five miles. Their slow progress, only 
nine miles a day, is accounted for in part by the bad condition of the 
roads, but mostly by the fact that the horses and cattle had to be fed 
in the morning before starting, which was done by browsing ; that is, 
by cutting down basswood, maple, and beech trees, and letting the an- 


imals eat the tender leaves and small twigs or branches, and the same 
was repeated at night, but in time so that all the animals could be prop- 
erly tethered after their supper, otherwise they would wander astray. 

Before starting they cooked a large quantity of provision for the 
journey and made tea night and morning in a kettle which they car- 
ried for that purpose, either building a lire where they encamped or 
getting permission to " boil the tea kettle " over the old fashioned 
fireplace. Their principal subsistence was mush and milk and samp 
and milk and journey-cake, now johnny-cake, and these constituted 
their main subsistence until after the harvest of their wheat. At 
night they slept in inns when it was convenient, the remainder of the 
time in their covered wagons. They obtained fire by striking a flint 
stone with a piece of steel made for that purpose and so held that a 
spark therefrom would come in contact with a piece of punk wood, 
which was easdy ignited. On arriving at Charle}^ Hill, the upper half 
of the east hill at Varna was found to be impassible, so that they were 
compelled to cut a new road around and to the south further than 
where it now is, and then back again. 

On arriving here, the two brothers threw up a chip, " Wet or dry." 
By chance Peter won the choice and chose the western half, each re- 
taining a half interest in the wheat that was on this half. The wheat 
was harvested, not with a binder, but was cut with sickles adminis- 
tered by eight sturdy hands, and threshed, not with a Groton thresher 
and cleaner, but with flails, upon the ground, which had been smoothed 
off for that purpose. It was cleaned in true Egyptian style, by pour- 
ing it from an eminence, while the wind was blowing, and the wheat 
was thus separated from the chaft". This wheat was carried to Lud- 
lowville on horseback, where it was ground. 

The next day after their arrival, June 19th, all the working force 
commenced work on Peter Snyder's log house, Avhich was located 
opposite the present residence of B. Snyder. It was 20 x 24 feet, 
and was completed in a few da3'S, with green hewn basswood floors* 
and the roof was covered with basswood bark. They had just moved 
into this house when the children came down with the measles, which 
they had contracted at the Water tavern in Pennsylvania. Gerchen 
Nail, the only child of Henry and Elizabeth Nail, died on July 2nd 
from this disease, which was the first death in the town, and she was 
followed on Sept. 22nd by her mother from consumption, which was 
the first adult death in the town. Peter Snyder chiseled these names 
and deaths on a brown quarry stone which still stands at their graves 
in the Robertson cemetery. Up to the time of the completion of this 


house, tlie families staid at George Robertson's, which was about a 
mile distant, and the men while at work found their way back and 
forth throuo'h the woods by means of marked trees. 

Immediately on the completion of this first house, one was built by 
Christopher, where Catharine Rhodes now lives. 

After having been here about two weeks, the horses, allowed to run 
at large, took "French leave" one night and started for their former 
home. They took a straight course for Owego, instead of the circui- 
tous one they had taken when they came, but were recognized by the 
settlers and Avere subsequently recovered at Owego. 

These houses were further improved in the summer by building a 
stone fireplace about seven feet high, the upper portion of the chimney 
being composed of sticks and clay. The crevices between the logs- 
were filled with clay, an opening about two feet square was left in the 
west end for a window and a split and hewn basswood floor was com- 
pleted for the chamber, which was reached by a ladder, and the roof 
was covered with shaved shingles. Up to the time the chimney was- 
completed the cooking was done out of doors by means of a pole 
placed upon crotched sticks, from which the cooking utensils were sus- 
pended, and this department was now transferred to the fireplace. It. 
was now done by means of a green pole placed across the chimney 
some sis feet high, called a " lug pole," from which trammels and tram- 
mel-hook^ were suspended so that the cooking utensils could be raised 
or lowered at pleasure. At this time it was not an uncommon occur- 
rence for this pole to get on fire and break, and down would come the 
dinner. It was then a common expression to say of a person of a 
weak mind, or rather below mediocrity, that he had been " hit on the 
head by the lug pole." The doors were hung on wooden hinges, rudely 
constructed, with a wooden latch, and a " latch string " extending 
through a small hole in the door above the latch and running to the 
outside. The fireplace was afterwards improved by means of iron 
cranes and still later b}^ andirons. 

There being no friction matches at this time, the settlers were often 
compelled "to borrow fire" of one of the neighbors in the morning,, 
when their own had gone out. 

After the families became settled, George Snyder returned to New 
Jersey, where he remained with his family until February, 1805. 

Peter Snyder subsequently purchased all of Lot No. 42 of a Mr. 
Constable for $2.75 per acre, but shortly thereafter sold one hundred 
and twenty acres of this to a Mr. Skillinger, so that he was enabled to 
give each of his sons one hundred and six acres of land and each of his 


danghters fifty-three acres in one contiguous body. Thus it is seen 
that our ancestors followed, to a certain extent, the old English rule 
of giving the sons more than the daughters. He afterwards purchased 
fifty-eight acres of land on Lot No. 90, Ulysses, now Ithaca, which 
came into possession of his daughter Anna (Whipple.) 

The descendants of Peter Snyder, commencing at the time of their 
marriage in 1776, and including all who intermarried therein, were, on 
Sept. 15th, 1874, 668 ; deaths in that time, 128 ; males in the family, 
325 ; deaths therefrom, 66 ; females, 343 ; deaths, 62 ; then living, 540 ; 
males, 259 ; females, 281. As far as a census at the present time 
could be taken there have been in the family 1068 persons ; males, 
517 ; deaths, 138 ; females, 551 ; deaths, 143 ; now living, 887. 

This family instituted an annual picnic in 1874 and the family has 
had an annual reunion every year since. 

Christopher Snyder died the next year after his settlement in Dry- 
den, in 1803, leaving eight children, viz : Katrina (Crutts,) William, 

Mary (Brown,) (Dart,) Christo'pher, Sarah (Sovocool,) David, 

and Margaret (Rhodes.) The Rhodes and Crutts families of Dryden 
are descended from this branch. 


THE MC'GRAW family IN DRYDEN. ^ * 

Some time about the year 1827, two sturdy" lads, tall and well pro- 
portioned but clad in homespun clothing and barefooted, came to 
" Dryden Corners " from the South Hill neighborhood, driving an ox 
team and bringing to market a wagon load of pine shingles which they 
had shaved by hand. They drove up to the store kept by Phillips & 
Brown near the spot where the M. E. church now stands, and, after ex- 
changing their cargo of shingles for such store goods as they needed 
and could afford to bu}', returned to their home in the Irish Settle- 
ment. These young men were Joseph, Jr., and John McGraw, who 
afterwards became men of prominence and influence in the business 
and social affairs of their native town of Dryden, afterwards becoming 
residents of Ithaca, whei'e both resided when they died. 

Their father, Joseph McGraw, Sr., had emigrated in the year 1806 
from Armagh, in the north of Ireland, a locality inhabited by a race of 
Scotch people Avho came there from Scotland at or before the time of 
Cromwell. The maiden name of their mother was Nelson, and the 
McGraws, Nelsons, and Teers brothers, as well as Hugh Thom]:)son 



and others of this Scotch-Irish descent, temporarily settled in Orange 
county, N. Y., where Thomas, the oldest son of the McGraws, was born 
in the year 1808. After another sojourn of two years in Delaware 
county, they moved to Dryden, where they founded the " Irish Settle- 
ment " in 1811. 

It seems, at first thought, surprising that the earl}" settlers should 
many of them have sought their homes in the most inaccessible and 
least productive portions of the township, but we must remember 

that the qualities of the 
soil in the different local- 
I ities Avere not known then 
' as they are now, and the 
' higher hilly lands were 
I then considered more 
j healthful than the low 
lands of the valleys, which, 
in early times, while the 
swamps were lieing 
drained and subdued by 
their first cultivation, were 
' subject to epidemic fevers, 
which in those days pre- 
vailed with malignant se- 
verity and caused the pre- 
mature death of many of 
the inhabitants. 

As pioneers, Isaac Teers 
made his home on what 
is now the Cole place, and 
John upon what is now 
known as the Miller farm, 


while the McGraw family lived on the Hammond place, in the old log 
house then standing about four rods north-east from where the frame 
house on that farm is now located. In this log house Joseph, Jr., was 
born in the year 1812 and John in 1815, their only sister, Nancy (Clem- 
ent), being older than either. There was still* another son, Henry, a 
bright, promising boy, who died under twenty years of age. 

As already stated, the father was a weaver by trade, a man of fair 
education for those times, a great reader and a good talker, being able 
to quote from a good memory much of what he had read. The moth- 
er was a woman of intelligence, possessed of a quiet and amiable dis- 


position, and very much loved and respected by her friends and neigh- 
bors. Both lived to old age, residing in the fifties a half-mile north of 
" Dr^'den Corners, " and later at Willow Glen, where they both died. 
Their oldest son, Thomas, who, as we have seen, was l)orn in 1808, 
died before he was thirty years of age. He is spoken of by those who 
knew him in terms of the highest admiration and is described as a 
compact, well bnilt, handsome fellow, with good features and a face 
beaming with intelligence, naturally easy, graceful and attractive in 
his manners, and large-hearted and generous in his disposition. His 
earh' business enterprises as a merchant at " Dryden Corners " were 
successful and, had he lived to full maturity, his prospects seemed 
equal to if not greater than those of his younger brother, John, who 
became a millionaire. His early death was greatly lamented at the 
time. He left a young wife, Sarah Ann (South worth), who afterwards 
married Henry Beach and after his death Dr. D. C. White, all of whom 
she survived and is still living in New York city. 

Joseph McGraw, Jr., also became a Dryden merchant and, in 1840, 
built the brick store now kown as the Hardware block on the south- 
east of the Dryden four corners. He afterwards went into mercantile 
business with George W. I*hillips in the brick store on the opposite 
corner, thus forming a partnership which resulted in a long and ex- 
pensive as well as an unprofitable litigation for both parties. Joseph 
afterwards turned his attention to farming, bringing into the country 
improved breeds of farm stock, and finall}^ retiring to Ithaca, where he 
resided when he died, in the year 1892. His first wife was Sarah 
Clement, by whom he had two children, Sarah Jane (Simpson) and 
John, both of whom were survived by their father, but both of whom 
left surviving issue. By his second wife, Sa.rah A. Sears, he had five 
children, all of whom are now living, viz : Thomas H., at Poughkeep- 
sie, N. Y. ; Lettie (Gauutlett), in Ithaca, N. Y. ; Georgie (Curtiss), and 
Joseph W., at Portsmouth, Mich. ; and Frank S., at Buftalo, N. Y. 

With the exception of a son of Nancy Clement, the children and 
grandchildren of Joseph McGraw, Jr., are the only descendants of the 
oiiginal McGraw famih' of Dr3-den which now survive. 

John McGraw, the youngest and most noted of the children who 
reached maturity, was in some respects different from the other mem- 
bers of the family. The others, like their father, were sociable and 
locjuacious, while John was reserved and sedate, but all were ^jos- 
sessed of a gentle dignity which was characteristic of all of these 
brothers. The florid complexion, with light or sandy hair, which pre- 
vailed in the family, found an exception in John, whose hair was black. 


We are told that liis father obtained for him a position as a clerk with 
Daniel J. Shaw, who was then a Dryden merchant, at a salar}^ of eight 
dollars per month, one-half of which was given to his mother. In 
after years he said that one of the happiest moments of his life was 
when, after working for his employer for the first few weeks, he vent- 
ured to ask him one evening after the store was closed if he was satis- 
fied with his services, and received the reply, "More than satisfied." 
Upon the death of his older brother, Thomas, John succeeded to his 
business, in partnership with their common father-in-law, John South- 
worth. Soon after this, in September, 1840, his only child, Jennie 
McGraw-Fiske, was born in the house since owned by Erastus Lord, 
nearly opposite to the Southworth homestead, and in 1847 his wife, 
Rhoda (Southworth,) died of consumption. 

While a Dryden merchant. Mr. McGraw became interested in lum- 
ber speculations in a small way, which prepared him for his future 
success upon a large scale in that line of business, first in Allegany 
county, and afterwards in Michigan, where he operated near Bay City 
one of the largest lumber mills in the country. He at one time resid- 
ed in New Jersey and again in Westchester county, N. Y., after taking 
for his second wife, Nancy Amelia Southworth, who died in 1857. He 
afterwards retired to Ithaca, where he married Jane P. (Turner,) wid- 
ow oi Samuel B. Bates, who survived him, he having died in the year 
1877, possessed of a fortune of over two millions. 

Of John McGraw, the late Henry W. Sage, at one time his partner 
in business, said : " He was upright, prompt, true, and sensitive to the 
nicest shade of honor. His active, practical life was a living exponent 
of that within, which abounded with faith, hope, courage, and fidelity 
— the qualities which make up and stamp the noble man." He was the 
donor of the McGraw building to Cornell University and in his latter 
years was president of the First National Bank of Ithaca. 

Of his only child, Jennie McGraw-Fiske, who survived him, we have 
spoken more fully in the chapter devoted to the Southworth Library, 
of which she was the founder. 



Benjamin Wood was born in 1789, at Scituate, Providence county, 
R. I., and died at his well-known home in Dryden, on Lot 32, Wood- 
lawn. He was directlv descended from the Rhode Island off-shoot of 


the Judge Elijah Wood family, of aristocratic English or Welsh ex- 
traction, which settled Gorham, Mass., in the seventeenth century, and 
in that day flourished its coat-of-arms. Of this Ehode Island branch, 
oame Benjamin Wood, Sr., of Revolutionary fame, born about 1740, 
who was everywhere and widely known as "Captain" Benjamin Wood, 
having been a captain of "Minute Men" of Providence county, R. I., 
who did good service in the Revolutionary War. He kept the " Way- 
Farers' Inn " at Nitmug Hill, near a famous quarry of that celebrated, 
stone in Scituate. The entertainer of that day of no books and no 
newspapers, or almost none, was the general and local news head- 
quarters of a locality. Captain Benjamin was a man of great influ- 
ence, often the arbiter of local disputes, and one who shaped public 
opinion upon the general or local questions of interest, so that his 
fine physique and affable manners at his popular hostelry quickly in- 
dicated him as a leader against Indian or British encroachments. His 
militar}' title was easily won in that way. He is said to have worn it 
well. He died at great age at the above place. Of his numerous but 
unfortunate family of twelve children, two came to their deaths by ac- 
cident and only one lived to mature age, Nathan, born at the place 
above-named, about 1764, who died at Albion, Mich., in 1846. At 
the breaking out of the Revolutionaiy War, he became, at twelve years 
of age, the body servant of his father in his campaigning tent life. 
GroAving up in the easy haliits of camp life, Nathan became a man of 
no force of character and never better than a second man on his job. 
As such he married Amy, the daughter, of pioneers Thomas and Alice 
Stone Hammond, who have already been referred to in Chapter 39, 
and with them removed to the wilderness of Chenango Valley in 1803. 
He worked as a brick-maker in tlie different brick works of his broth- 
er-in-law, Daniel Hammond, through his pioneer pilgrimages in Che- 
nango Valley, Willow Glen, and lastly on Lot 32 of Dryden, the Lemi 
Grover brickworks corner. 

From Nathan Wood and Am}' (Hammond) were born Lydia, Benja- 
min, Nathan Jr., Polly, and Martin B. Wood. Lydia married Orrin 
Squire, who also assisted in the above-mentioned brick works, and 
later established those on West Hill, Ithaca. They built the log 
house in the first clearing at Woodlawn about 1820. This was located 
forty rods west of Woodlawn cemetery, where the clearing had been 
made before Maher Wigton's time, by Andrew Grover, Sr., but his title 
had proven false, and he had to abandon it. From them is descend- 
ed, with a few others, Mary Squire, wife of David B. Howard, auditor 
of the Wabash Railway Svstem, St. Louis, Mo. 


Polly Wood became the wife of John Robertson, the first miller at 
the first grist-mill in West Drydeu, built by Capt. George Robertson 
on the north side of Fall Creek, between his house and the house of 
the late Casper Miller. They have left a very few descendants near 
Albion, Mich. 

Martin B. married Phebe, sister of Hon. Ezra Cornell, and became 
a banker of considerable means, but died suddenly, leaving a very few 
descendants at Albion, Mich. 

Some peculiarities of the life of Benjamin Wood may well be scanned 
to see if they do not furnish the " cause and cure for hard times," of 
which our later nineteenth century citizen delights to complain. He 
was, in all respects, the opposite of his father, Nathan, taking the 
make-up of Captain Benjamin, for whom he was named. Born to the 
hard crusts of rocky Rhode Island, his push made him, at an early 
age, a good mechanic in cooperage, brick making, and the use of edge 
tools ; and he was a model farmer, always alternately plying the voca- 
tion which promised the best returns. Two rules of his life grew out 
of this condition : " Never risk your eggs all in one basket " and 
" Every trade is worth one hundred dollars to its owner, to fall back 
upon. " Coming to Chenango Valley, N. Y., in 1803, with his grand- 
parents' party (Thomas and our pioneer, Alice Stone Hammond, and 
their son Dauiel's family) and w^orking in every trade through Oxford, 
Sherburne, and farther up that valley, he met, wooed, and won in 
1807, a beautiful, strong, healthy girl. Miss Mary Bonesteel, of Ger- 
man parentage, who, with ancestral thrift, was working her way from 
her birthplace, Warren's Bush, near the line of Montgomery and Her- 
kimer counties, down through this valley, doing work at the best price 
for every one who could raise mone}^ enough to pay for it ; which, in 
those days, even outwitted the gold basis of to-day, to fiud. He was 
eighteen years and she seventeen years old and their entire capital on 
both sides was good health and the Yankee grit for work ; he had a 
corn meal sieve, and she a good feather bed ; each had a few cents 
onh^ in money, and clothes for simple decency, both homespun and 
homemade, and that was all, she being a beautiful girl and he a brave, 
ambitious young man. We have heard of but one Dryden man 
who started married life with less capital than this, and made a nice 
success of it — Nathan Dunham, of Etna, whose wife, Millie, owned 
three ducks, and he had to borrow a dollar to pay the parson's fee. 

From the marriage of Benjamin and Mary Wood, sprang eleven 
children : Elmira (Bristol), Mary Ann (Cornell), Lydia, Orrin S., Mer- 
ritt L., Emily (Dunham), Harriet (Dunham), Caroline, Norman B., 


Otis E., and Cordelia M. (Chase), all of whom, excepting Ljdia and 
Caroline, who died single, lived to full age, married, and reared chil- 

After the birth of their second child, Mary Ann, in 1811, they found 
that the constantly growing scarcity of money made it impossible to 
sell for money a day's labor, or one article of produce, in the newly 
developed territory of Chenango Yalley or westward. Just then the 
incipient factory system of Southeastern New England, struggling for 
its very existence, had received a stimulus, not so much from National 
betterment as from the coldness of foreign relations, placing a check 
upon imports, and presenting a prospect of a speedy second war with 
England, and only the factories were paying ready money for Avages. 
The next three years, to 1814, by reason of the war, were prosperous 
ones, and having gone there in 1812 to enjoy them, they had saved 
some ready money, but the reactionary collapse came, the factories were 
all crushed, and all work and money pay stopped. During their stay 
there Benjamin's skill with edge tools as a worker of wood had intro- 
duced himself into the repair and improvement of reeds used by 
the factories for weaving. His pretty good natural foresight satisfied 
him that for the next few years, at least, clothes, which must be had, 
must be raised upon the frontier farms and made of wool and flax, at 
home, w^tli such exchanges of these products for cotton cloths as might 
be made with such factories as might run. Chenango Valley, N. Y., 
which, many years later, became quite famous in cotton industries, 
had just taken a taste of them when their collapse came, but Benja- 
min believed that the rapidly settling sections of Western New Y'"ork 
might foster this factory work, and it proved so. 

When the Rhode Island stoppage came he immediatel}' took his 
family, then consisting of himself, wife, three children, his parents, 
and youngest brother, Martin B., all of whom were dependent upon 
him, and putting upon one ox-team, all, except such as could walk, 
started Avith all their earthly goods, upon an early winter trip for Che- 
nango Yalley and farther Western New York. Reaching Albany, after 
considerable suffering, they found the ice too thick for the ferry and 
too thin to cross with teams and goods. After a day or two of delay, the 
ice thickening, they, with the stretch of all the chain, rope, and other 
possible ties, between the oxen and the vehicle, and scattering out the 
party to the utmost, crossed in safety, wended their way this time to 
Sherburne, in Chenango Yalley, and a little later, soon after 1818, to 
their few years' home in fertile Quaker Basin, just east of DeRuyter, 
Here grew the acquaintance of Ezra Cornell, a lad of nine, from Crumb 


Hill, and Mary Ann Wood, the child of five years, which in 1831 rip- 
ened into matrimony. 

Benjamin had, through these years, kept up a small trade in weav- 
er's reeds and reed repairs, and in their exchange for cotton cloths 
sold by him to frontier farmers and small dealers ; but he also real- 
ized that he had not reached out far enough in Western New York for 
the location of his weaver's reed manufacturing industry, because the 
chief customers must be the occupants of frontier farms who needed 
to use his reeds in the manufacture of their w^ool and flax product for 
clothes. Accordingly, in 1819, he located near Willow Glen, Dryden^ 
N. Y., led there by his uncle, Daniel Hammond, and lived for two 
years in the house first east from the Chas. Cady residence of later 
years, still continuing large gardening operations, of which he was 
very proud and from which he always derived a living. In 1821 he fol- 
lowed this Uncle Hammond to the Supervisor Grover corner of Lot 
32, Western Dr^'den, taking the first fifty acres east of said corner, 
now Woodlawn, and at this location first established a regularly locat- 
ed weaver's reed manufactory, in connection with labor in the uncle's 
brickyard, and with felling the huge pine forests to bring forward his 
new fertile farm, which he thus increased to two hundred acres. 

The success of Benjamin and Mary Wood lay in the management of 
family and business. The first duty of every one of their eleven 
children, and of other motherless ones left to their care, numbering 
fifteen in all, was to be every moment in school. Out of school-hours 
every child was made to scrupulously pursue, both boys and girls, 
such home labors as were allotted, according to age and strength, so 
that every one became a source of profit at ten years of age, and near- 
ly all of them at seven years. No playing was done by old or young, 
in the place where work belonged. The weaver's reed shop fur- 
nished work for all, at leisure farm seasons, for nearly thirty years, and 
was then sold out and abandoned. The farm-house w^ork was always 
systematically divided, so that the family, usually consisting of twenty 
members, were all profitably employed. To Mary Ann, until her mar- 
riage to Ezra Cornell in 1831, fell the duty of spinning and weaving 
every yard of cloth, both flax and wool, worn by the entire twenty 
persons. Nothing was bought which could be raised from the farm, 
whether of food or clothing. Whole grain was rarely fed or sold, but 
the coarse parts were used as food for animals, and hay, straw, or other 
fodder was never sold, being required for animal food or bedding, and 
to absorb the liquid fertilizers to make the farm lands better. Smok- 
ing, drinking, and profanity were strictly forbidden, and not a member 


left the family with these habits. A most exemphiry farmer, his fences 
and buildings were neatly kept ; and his lands, well tilled, constantly 
gained in fertility, so that he became, along with Colonel Brewer, Will- 
iam Carman, and such men, one of the first presidents of Tompkins 
County Agricultural Society. The same rigid money habits were rec- 
ognized on the farm, and on public days a son was allowed twenty-five 
cents pocket money for himself, for dinner, and, to meritorious mem- 
bers', if allowed a horse, twenty-five cents more for its dinner. In 
these times on all public days most young men of all grades, sons or 
hired help, will present a five-dollar bill to be changed for their rail- 
way fares. 

Sylvester Snyder, whose unequaled habits of thrift were formed on 
this farm, in fifteen years of labor upon it, mostly at twelve dollars 
per month, $144 dollars per year, put away regularly nineteen dollars 
for boots, clothes, hats and expense moneys for an entire year, and 
$125 dollars was "salted down" and was used to pay for sixty acres of 
the best land in Lansing when he began to farm for himself. There 
is a pattern for boys who earn farms. 

Benjamin Wood had an executive ability which was his fotrune. He 
was a true American " boss ;" he took the charge of his work, in per- 
sonal brain work ; he did his regular day's hard hand labor with every 
hired person, asking no one to do more than he. At the same time he 
always shrank from public ofiice honors ; never would accept any office 
but overseer of highways ; always wanted and always had that honor, 
and his Highway was so well kept that in his later life it was the" only 
one in town which became infested with horse racing, and hence 
was a source of chagrin to him. Although Woodlawn was naturally a 
cold, wet farm, it became a model one, and the water was so well kept 
going from it, and from the highway, that the neighbors below de- 
clared it to be a genuine misfortune to live below so wet a farm as his. 

Benjamin Wood and his friend Col. William Cobb, of the opposite 
end of his school district, were the first clamorers for the Eight- 
Square Brick School-house, and were the first persons to furnish 
graduating scholars from it, to higher schools, from that school dis- 
trict. Under his advice, Mr. Smith Robertson, one of his most efii- 
cient employees, accepted two and one-half years of school there, as 
teacher, at thirteen dollars per month, the same price he had there re- 
ceived as farm hand, and which led to his preparation just after at 
Homer Academy, and his graduation from Union College in 1843. 

Of the eleven children of Benjamin and Mary, Elmira became a 
teacher, married John S. Bristol, and died in 1847. Her husband. 


and their two sous, M. Channino- and Charles H., became successively 
Superintendents of Construction of the Western Union Telegraph Co., 
. a most responsible and lucrative place ; in charge at Chicago of all 
their vast work west of the Alleghanies, through the Middle, Western^ 
and Northwestern states and territories to the Pacific coast, and all 
along that coast. Mary Ann became the wife of Ezra Cornell, of Uni- 
versity fame, and from them were descended Ex-Governor Alonzo B. 
Cornell, Franklin C. Cornell, chief financial officer of Ithaca Savings 
Bank and Ithaca Trust Co., and other children, mostly of Ithaca. Ly- 
dia, born in Rhode Island, died single. Orrin S. and Otis E. Wood 
will be mentioned in Chapter LII of this volume. Merritt L. married 
successively, Caroline B. Sage, and Adelia M. Irish ; no children. His 
business has been successively superintendent of telegraphs and su- 
perintendent of railways, and he is now an orange grower in Florida. 
He w^as instrumental in bonding Ithaca for the original one hundred 
thousand dollars for the building of the railway now known as the El- 
mira & Cortland Branch of the Lehigh Valley System. Emily married 
Jonathan Dunham, whose family of three children, married, live in the 
North-west. Harriet married Jonathan Dunham, and died soon after, 
without children. Caroline died unmarried. Norman B. married H. 
Anna Spencer, and is simply missing in the North-west. Cordelia M. 
married Alonzo Chase and has three daughters, all living at Redfield, 
South Dakota. 



The subject of this chapter impressed those who personalh' knew 
him as a man of no ordinary ability. His long life, extending through- 
out a large portion of our Century Period, during which he accumulat- 
ed a princely fortune, had a marked influence in the towai of Dryden. 
He was born at Salisbury, Herkimer county, N. Y., September 26, 
1796, and died in Dryden, December 2, 1877. His ancestors were 
from Massachusetts, and his father, Thomas, in August, 1806, came to 
Dryden with his family, which included John, then a lad ten years of 

Thomas, who was a tanner and currier by trade, and a man of 
moderate means but of exemplary character and habits, first located 
in Dryden upon a farm of eighty acres which he purchased at Willow 
Glen. Afterwards he lived with his son at Dr^^den village, where he 
died in July, 1863, 91 years of age. 



Soon after coming to Willow Glen, young John was sent oft' some 
distance with his father's team, which he took the liberty of trading 
for another. The exchange, like most of his dealings in after life, 
proved a fortunate one, but his father was greatly displeased that his 
son should have taken such unauthorized liberties with his property, 
and reproved him severely, ])redicting certain disaster as the result of 
such precocious tendencies. When John was twenty years of age, he 
married Nancy, a daughter of Judge Ellis, ;ind purchased fifty acres 

of land adjoining the farm 
of his father. He was 
then obliged to borrow 
the money in order to pay 
for a pair of steers with 
which to do the team 
work on his farm. After 
a few years he sold out 
his first purchase of land 
and bought the farm in 
Dry den village which af- 
ter w a r d s 1) e c a m e his 
homestead. In these ear- 
ly years he developed a 
remarkably quick and ac- 
curate judgment as to the 
value of projDerty, which 
followed him through life 
and enabled him to ac- 
quire a fortune, while 
others, with the same sur- 
roundings and with more 

JOHN SOUTHWOliTH. A.--t i,„ ^i i t • 

toil, barely made a living, 
a dozen years from the time of his startjn business for himself, 
he was worth as many thousands of dollars. 

His first wife died March 16, 1830, while he was living in the house 
where Will Mespell now resides, on East Main street in Drydeji vil- 
lage. By her he had five children, viz : Rhoda Charlotte, who died 
December 14, 1847, having become the first wife of John McGraw and 
the mother of Jennie McGraw-Fiske ; Sarah Ann, who became suc- 
cessively the widow of Thomas McGraAv ; Henry Beach, and Dr. D. C. 
White, and who is still living at an advanced age in New York city ; 
John Ellis, who became a successful man in business, but who died in 



early manhood in New Y'ork city without issue ; Nanc}' Amelia, the 
second wife of John McGraw ; and Thomas G., who married Malvina 
Freelaud and still lives at Rochelle, IlL John Willis and his children 
are the only descendants of Thomas G., and the only living descend- 
ants of John Southworth by his first wife. 

In 1831 he married Betsey Jagger, by whom he had five children, 
viz : Betsey Fidelia, who died in youth ; Rowena, who became the 
wife of Hiram W. Sears, and the mother of John G. Sears, formerly 
district attorney of Tioga count}", N. Y., now a lawyer of Denver, Col- 
orado, and died October 9, 1866 ; Charles G., who died unmarried in 
1872 ; William H. Harrison, who married Ella Ward and died in 1885, 
leaving a family of three children ; and Albert, who married Diantha 
Bissell, and died in 1886, leaving a family of three children. 

In Novemlier, 1833, Mr. Southworth engaged in the mercantile bus- 
iness with Thomas McGraw, afterwards his son-in-law. In 1836 he 
built the oiiginal brick store on the corner of South and West Main 
streets and in the same year his brick house on North street. He early 
experienced some business misfortunes, but his dealings were on the 
whole very successful. The purchase of a large tract of pine lands in 
Allegany county in partnership with his son Ellis and his son-in-law, 
John McGraw, was one of his most successful investments. The bulk 
of his wealth, however, was not made in large transactions, but in the 
careful, constant, shrewd management of small affairs, out of which his 
genius derived profits when others would have failed. 

To the writer, who had some personal intercourse with him in his 
declining years, John Southworth was a very interesting character. 
Having no business education except that acquired from common ex- 
perience and observation, and no schooling except of the most rudi- 
mentary kind, he would express himself clearly in unpolished but forci- 
ble and terse language, and would write out with his own hand a 
contract which, for precision and completeness, few lawyers could equal. 
Of a genial and social nature, he could tell a good story as well as 
make a good bargain. He was kind hearted as well as penurious and 
one of the anecdotes of his career so fully and correctly illustrates the 
combination of these somewhat conflicting qualities that we feel im- 
pelled to insert it here, as follows : In his dealings with a shiftless, un- 
fortunate man who lived in the South Hill neighborhood, he took a 
mortgage on the poor man's only cow to secure the payment of what 
was due him, which was about equal to the value of the animal. Re- 
ceiving no payments, he came to the conclusion that the only way in 
which he could collect what was justl}^ due him was to take the cow on 


the mortgage. Convinced of this, he started out one morning with a 
boy to assist in bringing home his property. Arriving where the man 
lived and finding the cow in the door-yard, he directed the boy to let 
her out into the road while he went into the house and made known 
his business. The man did not appear, but his wife came to the door 
with her little children following and clinging around her. She said 
to Mr. Southworth that her husband was away and that the cow was 
all that she had left wdth which to feed her little ones. Bursting into 
tears she continued, saying that if the cow was to be taken from her 
she should die in despair. Mr. Southworth stood at the door listen- 
ing to her statement, while the children cried in sympathy with their 
mother, until he, too, commenced to weep. The boy, who was driving 
out the cow as directed, seeing the situation, hesitated, suspecting that 
feelings of sympathy would overcome Mr. Southworth's first inten- 
tions ; but he was mistaken, for, observing the delay in carrying out 
his instructions, Mr. Southworth dashed the tears from his eyes and, 
calling to the boy in a severe tone, he said : " Why in h — 1 don't you 
drive along that cow?" The firm determination to have what belonged 
to him overcame his sympathetic impulses, which were also strong. 
The cow was legally and equitably his property and, as he considered 
it, he paid in large taxes his full share towards the support of the poor. 

While Mr. Southworth never held any public office, his time being 
fully taken up in his many business interests, to all of which he gave 
Ms own personal attention, he was not insensible to his public duties 
as a private citizen. When volunteers were being called for during 
the dark hours of the War of the Rebellion, he contributed at one of 
the war meetings five hundred dollars for the aid of the families of 
those who should go to the front. When the question of building a 
railroad, which resulted in securing to Dryden the Southern Central 
branch of the Lehigh Valley, was being agitated, and other more nar- 
row-minded property holders refused their aid, he was a liberal con- 
tributor to its stock, which was then of very doubtful value and after- 
wards of none at all. 

While he was not known as a religious man, and, in his forcible 
use of language, was often quite profane, the church people of the vil- 
lage did not always apply in vain for his assistance in their financial 
affairs. He was at one time pursuaded to attend one of the meetings 
of the M. E. church society, the object of which was to raise funds 
with which to enlarge and repair their church edifice. Bishop Peck, 
who, in his youth, was one of the first M. E. clergymen located at Dry- 
den, and with whom Mr. Southworth had thus formed an old friend- 


ship, was present at this special meeting to raise funds for the church. 
After Mr. Southworth had consented to subscribe one hundred dol- 
lars, the bishop, minister, and church members endeavored to obtain 
smaller contributions from those of less ability. In this effort Mr. 
Southworth readily joined, finally offering to contribute fifty dollars 
more if John Perrigo and another man would sign for twenty-five dol- 
lars each, which would thus add another one hundred dollars to the 
fund. When the others hesitated, Mr. Southworth, in his earnestness 
to carry out the scheme and unmindful of the company he was in, 
said: "Why, d — mn it to h — 1, Perrigo, you can do that much." It 
is needless to say that the bishop and church members w^ho sur- 
rounded him did not severely rebuke him for his strong language up- 
on that occasion. 

While Mr. Southworth was a man of a strong will, which would bear 
no contradiction, he was not altogether heartless or unreasonable, and 
he always manifested a disposition to help those who were inclined to 
strive to help themselves. Unmerciful to those who were unfaithful 
to their agreements with him, there was no limit to the confidence wliich 
lie placed in those by whom he thought confidence was merited. 
While extremely simple and economical in his personal habits, his 
hospitality was unbounded. His faults were for the most part on the 
surface, and of his better qualities he made no display. Notwith- 
standing the rapid decline in the value of his real estate shortly be- 
fore his death, his accumulated property inventoried nearly a million. 



The subject of this chapter was born at East Homer, N. Y., January 
3, 1814. His parents, who had recently emigrated from the East, were 
natives of Sharon, Conn., and were in humble but respectable circum- 
stances, his mother, Almira (Swift,) being a woman of great industry 
and ambition, while his father. Philander, was a mason by trade, serv- 
ing at one time as a captain of the state militia, and noted as a 
man of high character and genial disposition. When Milo was about 
two years of age, his parents moved and located upon a small farm 
near the Marl Ponds in Cortlandville, where the childhood of our sub- 
ject was spent. He early manifested a great fondness for books, and 
when he was sixteen years of age he commenced teaching the same 
district school at South Cortland where, up to that time, he had re- 


ceived his education. Thereafter he pursued his studies by meaus of 
the mone}' Avhich he could save in teaching, being a student of the old 
Cortland Academy at Homer, and afterwards at Oberlin Institute, in 
Ohio, which had then recently been established to aid students who 
were obliged to pay their own way. In the meantime he taught dis- 
trict schools in Groton, Peruville, and Berkshire, N. Y., as well as in 
Mahoning, Pa., and Brooklyn and Weymouth, Ohio. In the year 1838 
he commenced the study of law in the office of Judge Barton, at 
Worcester, Mass., where he Avas admitted to practice in 1810. He 
then went West, to the territory, as it was then, of Wisconsin, where 
he practiced law in the new country at Beloit. After two years of this 
experience he returned to NeAV York, and in 1844 he married Eunice 
A. Eastman, of the town of Groton, and soon afterwards removed to 
the adjoining town of Dryden, which was his home for the next thirty 

Here he commenced his practice of law in a very humble way, rent- 
ing only rooms in which to commence housekeeping, possessing no 
means, and not yet being admitted to practice in the higher courts of 
this state. There was, however, in those days, much litigation in 
justice's court, which served as a school in which his great natural 
ability rapidly developed, and he was thus enabled to rise from the 
lowest to the highest grade of his profession. In 1849 he was ap- 
pointed postmaster at Dryden village and at about the same time he 
served as superintendent of schools for the township. 

In 1848 his parents moved to Dryden, building with him the home 
on South street where they lived together until their death. 

In 1867 Mr. Goodrich was elected a delegate to the state consti- 
tutional convention of that year, and subsequently was a member of 
Congress from his district. In the former capacity, as a member of 
the judiciary committee and among men of the highest rank in the 
state, he alone submitted a minority report in favor of an elective 
judiciary with a term of fourteen years for its judges, instead of chang- 
ing back to a judiciary appointed for life ; and his report, substan- 
tially as submitted by him and subsequently adopted by the conven- 
tion and finally by the people of the state, embraces the system which 
has ever since prevailed. 

In the year 1875 his increasing practice in the U. S. courts and the 
higher courts of his own state influenced him to remove to x4.uburn, 
where he continued to be engaged in a business of great activit}' and 
success until about two weeks before his death, which occurred April 
15, 1881. His remains were brought to Dryden, where they rest Avith 


those of his parents and of several of his children, who had died be- 
fore him. During the past year, his wife, Eunice A. Goodrich, who 
was a woman of domestic habits but possessed of a strong character, 
and was a devoted wife and a noble mother of his children, was buried 
beside him. 

Of their eight children three only survive, viz : George E., who oc- 
cupies the homestead and continues the practice of law in Dryden ; 
Frank, who is now a member of tlie faculty of Williams College ; and 
Fanny G. Schweinfurth, of San Francisco, Cal. 

It will be impossible to convey to the reader who did not know him 
an adequate conception of the magnetic power of Milo Goodrich as a 
speaker, especially when engaged in the trial of cases before a jury- 
When he Avas attending court in Ithaca and Cortland there were but 
few important trials in which he was not engaged. He devoted him- 
self almost exclusively to his chosen profession, which he pursued for 
the success which awaited his eflbrts in it, rather than for the pecun- 
iary compensation. Many of the expressions in his arguments were so 
impressive that the}' are still remembered and cherished by those who 
listened to them. He was endowed by nature with a strong physical 
constitution, which rendered him capable of incessant work, and he 
possessed great mental power, which, when fully developed, impressed 
all who came in contact with him. Not alone distinguished as a law- 
yer, he developed rare literary taste and culture, and some of his 
poetry upon local subjects exhibited his abilities in that direction. 
Upon public occasions he frequently delivered addresses, and in all 
political campaigns of his time he was one of the foremost local 

He was a Eepublican in politics until the Greeley campaign, which 
caused him to separate himself from the party to which he had, up to 
that time, given his earnest and conscientious support. Of a generous 
and public-spirited disposition, he liberally supported all public enter- 
prises, and, when the Southern Central railroad was contemplated, he 
united his efforts with others in securing its accomplishment, without 
seeking its emoluments. His magnetic influence as a speaker and his 
high character as a man will always be remembered by those who per- 
sonally knew him, but he cannot be fully appreciated and understood 
from any description which can be given. 




Jeremiah Wilbur Dwight was l)orn at Cincinnatus, Cortland county, 
New York, April 17th, 1819. He was the oldest son of Elijah and 
Olive Standish Dwight, and a direct descendant of John Dwight, who 
came from England in 1635 and settled in Massachusetts. 

John Dwight founded a famiW which has produced, perhaps, as 
great a number of talented men who have distinguished themselves on 
progressive lines, as any family in this country. 

Through his mother, Mr. Jeremiah Wilbur Dwight was a lineal de- 
scendant of Captain Miles Standish, who came over in the Mayflower 
in 1620. In 1830 Mr. Dwight's patents moved from Cincinnatus into 
Caroline, Tompkins county, and six years later, into that part of the 
town of Dry den known as South Hill. His parents were poor and un- 
able to give him an education except that afforded by the common 
schools. His necessities aroused his ambition. In 1838 he came to 
Dryden village and, for forty-nine years, was identified with her in- 
terests and history. He entered the store of A. Benjamin, to learn 
the mercantile business, and an incident connected with this real 
starting point in his life shows the strong characteristics which ever 
marked his subsequent career. He was a stranger, but, feeling the 
responsibility of aiding his father's famil}-, he determined to secure 
a foothold. Six dollars, his savings from farm work, constituted his 
entire capital. The coveted clerkship was already filled, but the clerk 
who served was willing to sell his position to 3'oung Dwight for his six 
dollars. Dwight risked his all, confident that he could make himself 
so useful that he would become a necessity to his employers. He suc- 
ceeded, as he remained constantly with the firm until the business 
was sold to A. L. Bushnell. Meantime, he had taken advantage of in- 
struction at odd times at the Burhans school, and, when the new mer- 
cantile firm was formed, he went with it and a few years later was 
taken into partnership. 

Their store was located at the south-east corner of Maih and South 
streets. After remaining there a few years, a new firm was organized 
by J. W. Dwight and I. P. Ferguson and they occupied a small store 
on the north side of Main street. In 1852 Mr. Dwight was able to 
build the stone store building, in which he continued the mercantile 
business under the firm name of J. W. Dwight & Company. Probably 
no store in this section of the country at that time transacted a larger 


or more prosperous busiuess. As a merchant, Mr. Dwioht was a suc- 
cess. By early and late application to business, strictest economy, 
truthfulness, honesty, and exemplary habits, Mr. Dwight made hosts 
of fri^-nds and won the confidence and respect of the people. 

As he became more prosperous, he invested in real estate. His 
first venture was the purchase of the Goddard farm. In this new en- 
terprise he showed his innate busiuess sagacity, did well for himself, 
and, at the same time, helped to develop Dryden village. He laid out 
" The Square, " by cutting Pleasant and James streets through the 
farm, platted the farm into building lots, and reserved for himself that 
portion which is now known as the Dwight homestead. From the re- 
mainder develo^Ded Union street, nearly all of the east side of South 
street, and more, as the farm ran south to Virgil Creek and east to 
the Tucker farm, including what is now the school lot. Later, in 
partnership with Dr. Montgomery, he purchased part of the Tucker 
farm, which ran further east, and also partially laid that out into 
streets and building lots. 

Since his investments proved successful, he invested again with 
others in the Dryden Woolen Mill, the Stone Flour Mill, and the Dry- 
den Lake property. In the management of all these enterprises he 
demonstrated his able judgment, his correct estimates of values, and 
his comprehensive grasp of financial problems. At this time, as his 
acquaintance broadened and opportunities presented themselves, he 
made investments elsewhere. First, in New Jersey, later on. in pine 
lands in Wisconsin. Later, in 1880, he organized the Dwight Farm 
and Land Company, of North Dakota, which ]:)nrchased there sixty 
thousand acres of laud. The present town of Dwight, located in 
North Dakota in a part of the holdings, bears his name. His business 
transactions, so successful that any man might lie proud of them, were 
the legitimate outgrowth of investments made in real estate and de- 
veloped by courage and the strictest application. 

As a citizen he early took an interest in all public improvements; 
and was always in the front ranks, bearing his full share in the work 
of village incorporation, school improvements, church repairs, and or- 
ganization of the Agricultural Society and of a Cemetery Association 
Avorthy of the town and the times. He was a prime mover in the or- 
ganization and building of the Southern Central railway, feeling that 
the time had come when Dryden should be connected with the out- 
side world by other means than that of the stage coach. Into this 
project he threw his characteristic zeal to make the undertaking a suc- 
cess. He was for a long time director and vice-president and gave 


generously both his time and money to the work. Though absorbed 
in his own business affairs, he was frequently called upon to adminis- 
ter estates for others, and was selected by Jennie McGraw-Fiske as 
one of the trustees of the Southworth Librar}' bequest. All trusts he 
fulfilled conscientiously, and according to the dictates of his liest judg- 
ment. He was always the friend of the unfortunate and those strug- 
gling against adverse circumstances. 

Believing that the policy of the Republican party would best insure 
the safety and development of his country, which he loved, he was an 
ardent Republican. For many years Dryden was known as the ban- 
ner Republican town of the count}' and the credit was due as much to 
Mr. Dwight's devoted efforts as to any other cause. He never failed 
to attend every caucus and election or to brave severe storms in order 
to go to surrounding school-houses to speak when duty called. In 
1857 and 1858 he was elected supervisor of the town of Dryden and 
during both terms was chairman of the county board. 

In 1859 he was elected Member of Assembly and was re-elected in 
1860. In the early years of the war he was appointed by Governor 
Morgan as a member of the war committee for his own senatorial dis- 
trict and he served until the committee disbanded. In 1868 he was 
sent as delegate to the National Republican Convention at Chicago, 
where he supported General Grant for President. He was a member 
of Congress for six years, representing the twenty-eighth New York 
Congressional District, at that time composed of Tompkins, Broome, 
Schuyler and Tioga counties. He was first elected, in 1876, to the 
forty -fifth Congress and then re-elected to the forty-sixth and forty- 
seventh Congresses. In 1884 he was a delegate to the Republican 
National Convention, at Chicago, where he supported James G. Blaine 
for President. In politics he was noted for his fertility of resources, 
fidelity to party, loyalty to friends, and, though he was in the political 
maelstrom, his high moral character protected his name from the taint 
of corruption. 

In 1815 he married Rebecca Ann Cady, daughter of Hon. Elias W. 
Cady. Their descendants are : Mary M. Dwight, who married Sanders 
E. Rockwell and has one son, James Dwight Rockwell ; Olive Adelia 
Dwight ; Julia R. Dwight ; Annie A. Dwight, who married Richard S. 
Tyler ; and John W. Dwight, who married Emma S. Cliilds. 

Mr. Dwight died November 26th, 1885, at the age of sixty-six. He 
rests in Green Hills cemetery. 




The Lacy (or Lacey) family is of ancient English origin, being 
known as DeLacey when they came with William the Conqueror 
from Normandy to England. Richard, the grandfather of John C. 
Lacy, was born in England. Benjamin, his father, was born in Mans- 
field, Morris county, New Jersey, October 1, 1768, and died in Dry- 
den October 1, 1820. He came to this township, as a pioneer, in the 
fall of 1801, with his wife, who was a daughter of Captain Cornelius 
Carhart, of English and German descent, who commanded a company 
of sixty men in the battle of Monmouth, June 18, 1778. She was a 
woman of sound mental qualities, as well as of industrious, frugal 
habits. She survived her husband thirteen years, keeping her fam- 
ily of six children together on their farm in what is now Dryden 
village, until her decease. 

Benjamin was a farmer, a man of sturdy character and one of the 
most enterprising and public-spirited pioneers of Dryden. He did 
much for the cause of education, which was then in its infancy in 
the new community, Daniel Lacey, the son of his brother Rich- 
ard, as we have seen, having been the first school teacher in Dryden 
in 1804. In 1819 he erected the first clothing works in Dryden, al- 
most on the present site of the Dryden Woolen Mill, and, in the next 
year, which was the last of his life, he and two of his brothers de- 
veloped the Dryden Mineral Springs, where the Sanitarium is now 
located. They had discovered the value of these springs while pros- 
pecting for salt. If, in their search for salt, they had possessed the 
modern means for boring deeper, their search would doubtless have 
been successful, since extensive beds of this mineral are now found in 
the adjoining towns of Ithaca and Lansing and in other places in the 
county where great depths have been reached. 

John C. Lacy was born on his father's farm in Dryden near the lo- 
cation of the present stone grist-mill, October 21, 1808, and was, con- 
sequently, only twelve years of age at the time of his father's death. 
His means of education were very limited and two years later he com- 
menced, with his older brother Garret as his partner, to carry on the 
farm and to pay ofl" the incumbrance which existed upon it. Their 
efforts were successful and enabled them to eventually buy out the in- 
terest of the other children. The partnership of the two brothers con- 
tinued until 1857, when Garret decided to remove further west, selling 


JOHN C. LACY. 219 

out his interest here to the subject of this chapter, who was thus the 
only representative of the Lacy pioneers of 1801 to remain in Dryden. 
About that time, or soon after, he married Maria A., daughter of the 
late Asa M. White, of Candor, N. Y., whose ancestry is also worthy of 
special notice. She was in the direct line of descent from Peregrine 
White, who was the first child born in New England of English parent- 
age, being born on board the Mayflower in the harbor of Cape Cod 
about December 10, 1520. 

Mr. Lacy died October 4, 1893, and his wife, July 18, 1895. Their 
only child, Ada Belle, is the wife of D. F. Van Vleet, of Ithaca, one of 
the leaders of the Tompkins County bar. Their son, De Forest Lacey 
Van Vleet, is the only grand-child of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Lacy. 

While Mr. Lacy was a man of conservative judgment and thought- 
ful, prudent disposition, he was always one of the substantial and re- 
liable men of the community in which he resided. The reminiscences 
which he wrote on his eightieth birthday, from which we quote on 
page 74 of this volume, illustrate the thoughtfulness of the man, and 
preserve for our benefit the knowledge of events which would other- 
wise be lost. His literary taste, for one brought up as he was with- 
out educational advantages, was also very commendable, and the writer 
remembers from childhood with what skill and enthusiasm Mr. Lacy 
used to take part in the debates at the old school-house, forty years 
ago, with J. W. Dwight, T. J. McElheny, Dr. Montgomery, and others. 
In 1862 he served as president of Dryden village, and was chosen at 
other times as assessor and as highway commissioner of the town. 
He belonged to the first temperance organization in Dryden and, in 
1861, he joined the First M. E. church of this village, of which he was 
always, from that time, a stable and constant member, contributing 
largely of his time and means to its management and support. While 
others were more headstrong and impetuous in the pursuit of their 
undertakings, Mr. Lacy was always deliberate and judicious. He Avas 
a man who would have commanded success in any sphere of business 
to which he might have been called, a thorough and persistent reader 
and thinker, and possessed an accurate estimate of men and things. 
His natural kindness of heart and his benevolence endeared him to 
the community in which he lived, and his pure integrity and honesty 
of purpose in whatever he did has never been questioned. 

Mrs. Van Vleet has recently given a beautiful tribute to the memory 
of her father and mother by jjlacing in the tower of the SoutliAvorth 
Library building a clock, which has already been mentioned. The 
accuracy and precision of Mr. Lacy, in all of his course of life in the 


past, is well symbolized by this time-piece, which is so located as to 
guide and regvdate in Dryden village the affairs of men in the future. 
Mrs. Van Vleet is also devoting some of her thoughts and leisure time 
to the improvement of the little farm in Dryden village, upon which 
her father was born ninety years ago, planting it with nut-bep.ring 
trees and orchards, and grading and laying out avenues and walks 
in such a manner as to stimulate and develop the taste for the beau- 
tiful, which she is thus disposed to cultivate in connection with the 
memory of her parents. 



The biography of the subject of this chapter affords a typical instance 
of the young man, born and reared in the countr}^, who is destined, in 
the eternal fitness of things, to become a prominent factor in the busi- 
ness life and interests of the great cities of our country. As in all 
ages the masses of people, congregated together to form the great cen- 
ters of commerce and manufacture, draw their sustenance from the 
sparsely settled rural districts, so the great aggregations of people 
which form our metropolitan cities are continually drawing their most 
enterprising leaders in commerce, manufacture, and government, from 
the sons of the humble but industrious farmers of the country towns. 

The parents of Andrew, Elisha and Elizabeth B. (Smith) Albright, 
were natives of New Jersey, and were married there about the year 
1818. Elisha had, a year or two before, been to Dryden, where he 
worked as a lad for his older brother-in-law, John Hiles, in the saw- 
mill which the latter then operated at the foot of Dryden Lake. Their 
oldest son, Jacob, was born at Belvidere, N. J., September 4, 1819, 
and, when he was four months old, they came to seek their fortunes in 
the new country of Western New York. They brought themselves 
and all their possessions — which then consisted of a few house-keeping 
articles and sixt}^ dollars in specie — not upon the traditional ox-sled 
of other pioneers, but in a one-horse wagon, in which they drove all 
the way from Belvidere to Dryden. They first took up their abode in 
a log house then located upon the now vacant knoll nearly opposite the 
Dryden Woolen Mill, on Main street in Dryden village, and afterwards 
lived in a plank house which Elisha built on a farm now owned by S. 
C. Fulkerson, in the north part of the town, where Aaron was born 
January 7, 1823. Again moving, they settled at one time on Fall 


Creek near the Oliver Cady farm, and at another, near the residence 
of Elliott E. Fortner, where Andrew was born, June 23, 1831 ; nntil 
finally in 1832, having accumulated some property iu spite of his fre- 
quent changes of location, he purchased of Selden Marvin his home- 
stead farm three fourths of a mile north from " Dryden Four Corners. " 
Here he reared his family of eleven children and developed from what 
was almost a wilderness one of the best farms in Tompkins county. 
The writer recalls the fact of seeing, in his childhood, about the year 
1850, Elislia, then a tall, muscular man, surrounded b}' his sturdy 
sous, going out to the fields like a small army of giants to do the hay- 
ing with scythes and hand rakes in the old-fashioned way. The time 
of his prosperity had then come and his productions were not confined 
to the bare necessities of life. His farm was noted for the fruit as 
well as the grain and butter which it produced. A strain of the Win- 
ter Steele apple grown to perfection in his orchards in great abun- 
dance had a local reputation. Although " stronghanded," in his latter 
years by the aid of his sous, labor saving devices were not disregarded 
and a home-developed water power was ingeniously made use of on the 
farm to do the threshing. 

Being among the younger children, Andrew had the advantage of a 
fair common school education and remained upon the farm until he 
was of age. He then began to develop tendencies looking beyond the 
drudgery of a farmer's life. His inventive turn of mind was first di- 
rected to a patent wagon brake, which came to naught. One day, 
while driving, the thought of the use of hard rubber for harness trim- 
mings, for which only leather had been used up to that time, occurred 
to him and he resolved to apply himself to the development of that 
subject. He was told by experts in the use of rubber that his idea 
was impracticable and that it was impossible to make use of rubber in 
that way, but, like all true inventors, he was not to be easily discour- 
aged, and, concentrating all the energies of his resolute nature upon 
that subject, he finally demonstrated his success in achieving the de- 
sired result. 

It is a well known fact that most true inventors lack the ability to 
reap the rewards of their own inventions, but here is where Albright 
differed from the generality of his class. As soon as his invention was 
made known, such experts as had ridiculed his designs as visionary 
were now ready to contest his title to the discovery. Suits had to be 
commenced and maintained in the U. S. courts, to sustain and protect 
his patent, or it would have availed him nothing. Mr. Albright was 
without pecuniar}^ means at his disposal, while his rivals Avere con- 


iiected with wealthy corporations. But here was the opportunity of 
his life. As Shakesj^eare puts it, — 

" There is a tide in the afiairs of men 
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. " 

In this emergency Mr. Albright called upon his father for help to 
sustain him. The old gentleman, who had acquired what little he 
possessed in the most laborious manner, and who had some doubt as 
to the final success of his son's enterprise, at first hesitated, but the 
necessity of this aid was so imperatively presented by the son, whose 
whole future depended upon it, that the father and older brothers at 
length lent their aid. The suits were decided in Albright's favor and 
the crisis of his life was successfully passed. Let not visionary young 
men be encouraged by this to embark their means in hazardous ad- 
ventures. As the result has proved, Mr. Albright, when he applied 
for the aid of his family, was not about to try an experiment, but he 
was demonstrating a practical certainty. His success, from that time 
on, from a business point of view, has been without material interrup- 
tion and he is now numbered among the most wealthy and successful 
manufacturers of the cities which cluster around the " Greater New 
York. " 

The merits of his invention, which was not a mere accident, but the 
result of thorough study combined with native genius of high order, 
are fully attested by one of the Goodyear brothers, who first discov- 
ered the process of vulcanizing rubber, and who wrote of Mr. Albright 
that he deserved " more credit than any licensee that has ever taken 
up any branch of the hard rubber business. " 

After his business success had become an accomplished fact, Mr. 
Albright was allured into politics and not only was he nominated for 
Congress, when, against great odds, he failed by only a small majority, 
but he was, several times afterwards, prominently brought forward as 
a candidate for governor of his state, and, had he consented to use 
the means commonly adopted in New Jersey, as well as in too many 
other places, to secure the election, his nomination, as well as election, 
would have been assured. 

But the same resolute characteristics which carried him to success 
in his business career, firmly opposed all inducements to secure the 
nomination by any but honorable means, and the prize therefore fell 
to those who were less scrupulous in this regard. Like Henry Clay, 
who would " rather be right than be president, " he preferred to for- 
sake political ambition rather than be governor with the loss of his 


integrity as a man. Since that time be has occupied a position in pol- 
itics above party lines, taking broad views of his own which have con- 
trolled his actions. 

Unlike many men of fortune, since his days of prosperity have come 
to him, Mr. Albright has made liberal use of his means for his own 
comfort and for the public good. When the people of Dryden village 
were about determining to put in a system of water-works, he donated 
to them a beautiful fountain to adorn the common in his native town 
as a memorial for his father and mother. When the new log cabin 
was recently suggested as a feature of the Dryden Centennial Celebra- 
tion, he sent in without solicitation, his check for thirteen dollars, to 
represent the thirteen members of his father's family in that enter- 

Some of the marked traits of character of Mr. Albright are those 
which distinguish most self-made men of note. A strong and rugged 
constitution, developed by work on the farm, and life-long habits of 
temperance and regularity have enabled him to give untiring, personal 
attention to his business. His contact with men in all walks of life, 
and his custom of finding out all about every point involved, have giv- 
en him an unusual knowledge of human nature, which has been of 
great value in the numerous negotiations and contracts in which he 
has been engaged, and has kept him from making many bad bargains- 
Although not trained as a mechanic, he has fine mechanical instinct, 
and quickly appreciates and understands machinery ; and he has sug- 
gested a large number of improvements in the machines and processes 
of his factories. 

His extensive litigation in the United States Circuit and Supreme 
courts, both as complainant and defendant, has given him a much bet- 
ter knowledge of the leading principles of the patent laws, evidence, 
and equity than one usually finds among laymen ; and his less exper- 
ienced friends among manufacturers often consult him on questions 
relating to the construction and extent of patent claims. His own ex- 
perience of an inventor's troubles in perfecting an invention, getting 
his patent, and then sustaining it against infringers, has made him a 
close sympathizer with other inventors ; and he has many times fur- 
nished lawyers' services and other substantial aid in developing their 
inventions and protecting their rights. Nothing in his life aflbrds him 
more pleasure than the recollection that he has given such help to 
many deserving inventors. 

While always ready to stand up for his rights, he is willing to give 
consideration to the wisdom and expediency of compromise where 


there appear to be coiiHictiuo- rights. Gifted Avith persuasive speech, 
he has exceptional facilit}^ in conducting a negotiation. Swift in judg- 
ment and action, he does not waste time in over-consideration or need- 
less delay. To many his manner, at times, is bluff, and, like all strong 
men, he is apt to appear too down-right and positive. But his em- 
ployees, many of whom have been with him over twenty years, know 
that his heart is in the right place, and have a warm regard for him. 
He has never had a " strike," and he has never closed his factory, 
even when the recent hard times entailed loss by keeping it open. He 
preferred to suffer loss rather than to distress his faithful Avorking 
men by shutting down. 

These are some of the traits of character which have enabled the 
farmer boy of Dryden to become one of the truly useful leading men 
of his day, giving employment for many years to hundreds of men, and 
have made him one of the foremost citizens and wddest known manu- 
facturers of Newark, the Birmingham of America, In the eyes of prac- 
tical men, one such citizen is worth more to the country than a hun- 
dred brilliant politicians. The inventor and manufacturer, he who 
produces in field or factory, is the citizen who chiefly adds to the 
w^ealth, prosperity, and happiness of the community in w^hicli he lives. 

In October, 1878, Mr. Albright married, at Dryden village, Mrs. Al- 
mira D. Strong, widow of P. B. Strong, a soldier in the War of the 
Rebellion who died in the service. Two children, a son and a daugh- 
ter, both now married, are the result of this union and both reside 
near their parents at Newark, N. J. A fine picture of the beautiful 
home of Andrew Albright has recently been presented to and now 
hangs in the Southworth Library at Dryden. 



In this chapter, which was not contemplated in the original concep- 
tion of this work, we seek to give short biographical sketches of a 
dozen men whose lives are to some extent connected with the town of 
Dryden, which has at some time claimed all of them as her citizens, 
Init who in the main have made their fortunes elsewhere. All have, in 
one wa}^ or another, become worthy of notice here, and our regret is 
that we have not the time to extend the list to one hundred instead of 
a dozen, for the larger number mentioned could easily be selected 
from those citizens who have aone out from Drvden and made them- 



selves somewhat distiDwuislied for their achievements. We consider 
ourselves iortunate in being able to head the list with the likeuess of 

one of the sons 

of Capt. George 
llobertsoD, the 
so-called "Fa- 
t her of the 
Town. " 

Smith Robekt- 
soN was born at 
the old liome- 
s t e a d o n the 
Bridle Road 
May 1st, 1814, 
and is therefore 
DOW upwards of 
e i g h t y - f o u r 
years of age. 
He was a pupil 
and afterwa r d s 
a teacher in the 
School- house 
District, besides 
being a student 
at Ithaca, where 
he lived with 
his older broth- 
e r , T h o m a s , 
when the latter 
was sheriff of 
the county, in 
1828-':-31,' and 
In 1843 he graduated from Un- 
ion College, and in the fall of that year he became superintendent 
of schools of this county, in the performance of the duties of which 
offi'.'e he traveled from district to district, almost always on foot, 
throughout his territory. Having afterwards settled down to farm life 
with his brother, Mott J., on the old farm, he was made the first mar- 
shall and the second president of the Dryden Agricultural Society, 
organized in 1856, and under his management and direction the foun- 


afterwards at Cortland Academv. 



■dations of the future prosperity of the society were laid. Through his 
instigation the first temporary grounds were given up, the present site 
was purchased and the main buikling, somewhat typical in form of the 
■Octagonal School-house of his home district, was constructed. In 
1858 he was elected sheriff of Tompkins county, and in 1860 it was he 
who conveyed his prisoner, the notorious Euloff, to Auburn, to evade 
the threats of an angry mob of citizens, who were determined to lynch 
him. This act, which was very severely criticised at the time, com- 
mends itself to the sober second-thoughts of all, and doubtless saved 
the county from a disgraceful exhibition of lawlessness and barbarity. 
In 1864, under the appointment of an old school-mate, Orrin S. Wood, 
he superintended the construction and reconstruction of the North- 
-western Telegraph lines in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the upper pen- 
insula of Michigan, after which he was appointed land agent of Cor- 
nell University, at Eau Claire, Wis., a position which he still holds. 

Mr. Robertson is justified in making a hobby of physical culture, 
and is fully able to illustrate in his own life the reality and value of 
the theories to which he holds upon this subject. Although an octo- 
genarian, he prides himself upon being as active and spry as a boy, 
and, with his straight figure and erect form, his appearance is that of a 
man not over sixty years of age. He attributes his health and ap- 
parent youth to temperate habits, regular and abundant exercise and 
a buoyant disposition, which often avail much in successfully combat- 
ting the effects of the infirmities of age. He was one of the leading 
personalities at our Centennial celebration, an account of which follows 
this chapter. 

William Marvin was born at Fairfield, Herkimer county, N. Y., 
April 14, 1808. In the first year of his infancy his parents re- 
moved to Dryden, as already mentioned in Chapter XXIII. He and 
his older brother, Richard, were therefore brought up as Dryden boys, 
on the farm afterwards and still owned by the Albright family, north 
of the village. Both worked on the farm and attended the Dryden 
village district school, and William, who now lives at Skaneateles, 
ninety years of age, is one of the oldest, if not the very oldest, of Dry- 
den boys now living. As we have seen, his father moved to Chautau- 
qua county in 183l{, where he and his second wife and an older son 
died in the same year, leaving a number of small children. It de- 
volved upon William to look after these smaller children, which he 
did with paternal care and mature judgment. He had already com- 
menced the study of law by himself, and in 1833 was admitted to prac- 
tice and immediately opened an oflice at Phelps, Ontario county, where 



liis abilities were soon mauifested. In 1835 professional business 
called him to the territory of Florida. Here he made the acquaint- 
ance of some persons, upon whose recommendation he was appointed, 
by President Andrew Jackson, U. S. district attorney for the southern 

district of 
Florida. Very 
f e w, if an y, 
other men are 
living to-day 
who were ap- 
]»ointed to of- 
( ice b y A n- 
drew Jackson, 
over sixty 
years ago. 
He then r e- 
moved to Key 
West. He was 
a member of 
the first con- 
convention of 
Florida in 18- 
39 and in the 
same year he 
was appointed 
by President 
V a n B u !• e n 
judge of the 
S u }:) e r i o !■ 
Court of the 
district. In 
1817 he be- 
came U. S. 
district judge, 
an office which 

he held until 1863, when his health, impaired by the long residence in 
a hot climate, iniiuenced his return to the North. He had, although 
a staunch Democrat, strenuously opposed the secession movement and 
continued to hold his court at Key West in the trying times of the 
War of the Rebellion, when the duties of his office were verv arduous. 



At the dose of the war he was appointed, by President Andrew John- 
son, Provisional Governor of the state of Florida, and, as such, took 
part in the reconstruction of the state p;overnment. He was elected 
to the United States Senate by the new State Leoislature, but, beinc^ 
a Democrat in principle as well as in name, he, as well as his state, 
could not at once accept negro suffrage, and his credentials as United 
States Senator were, therefore, never accepted. Unlike the notorious 
carpet-baggers of those times, who were willing to do anything to se- 
cure and retain office, his political career, but not his stable consist- 
ence as a man, came to an end. 

Governor Marvin has been twice married, ffrst to Harriet Newell 
Foote, at Cooperstown, N. Y., by whom he has an only child, a daugh- 
ter, wife of Marshall J. Luddington, Quartermaster General, United 
States Army. His second wife was Mrs. Elizabeth Jewett, of Skan- 
eateles, N. Y., whom he married in 1867, since which time he has 
made Skaneateles his home. 

He has always been a great reader and has published several books, 
one being a law book treating of the law of wreck and salvage, a subject 
which came before him frequently when district judge, and which he 
treated in such a way that his publication has become a work of stand- 
ard authority upon that subject. He has also, in later years, written 
a work upon the authenticity of the Four Gospels, in answer to an in- 
fidel work attacking the evidence of their commonly accepted origin, 
which seems to be so fairly and logically written as to be unanswer- 

Mr. Marvin still takes great interest in public affairs and in the lo- 
cal concerns of his present home village, having been president of the 
library association of Skaneateles for upwards of fifteen years, and, a 
few years ago, president of the village. In politics he has been a life- 
long Democrat ; in religion an Episcopalian. The valuable aid which 
he has given the writer in the compilation of this work is acknowl- 
edged in the Preface. 

Richard Pratt Marvin was born at Fairfield, Herkimer county, N. 
Y., Dec. 23, 1803. He was therefore about six years of age when his 
parents removed with him to Dryden, where he was brought up and 
lived on the Albright farm until he was nineteen years of age. By 
teaching district schools, he enabled himself to study law and Avas 
admitted to practice in 1829, when he settled in Jamestown, Chau- 
tauqua county, which was afterwards his home. Mr. Marvin's 
ability as a lawyer soon developed and, in 1836, he was elected a mem- 
ber of Congress from his district and was re-elected, holding that 



,-1^ J#^.. 

office for four years. In 1847 he was made judge of tlie Supreme 
Court, a position which he held for twenty-five years consecutively, 
adniinisterino- its duties with marked ability. At one time in sentenc- 
ing a man convicted of murder he urged him to prepare for death, us- 
ing the following; language : " I greatly fear, sir, that you have not al- 
ways prayed. Although I have never made any profession of peculiar 

piety, I have 
~| ever believed — 
I since I have 
grown to man's 
estate and re- 
flected upon the 
' nature of mind 
and reason — in 
the great effica- 
cy of prayer. If 
a mother teach- 
es her child to 
repeat the beau- 
tiful prayers of 
infancy, and if 
the child con- 
tinues this habit 
of appealing to 
God for guid- 
ance in this vale 
of tears, it will 
have a sacred 
influence, and if 
he should pass 
on to riper years 
it will make him 
a wiser anil bet- 
ter man. " When we consider that these words were spoken by a 
son of Selden Marvin, whose prayers in the pioneer Methodist meet- 
ings in the school-house could be heard throughout half the extent of 
the village, as we have seen in Chapter XXXIII, we must concede 
that, in this instance at least, the religious habits of the father were 
not lost in their effects upon his children. 

In 1834 Richard Marvin married Isabella Newland, of Albany, b}' 
whom he had eight children. She died in 1872 and he, after crowning 




his career of active life with a season of travel in Europe, died at 
Jamestown, in 1892, at the ripe age of eighty-nine years. 

His children who still survive him include General Selden E. Mar- 
vin, of Albany, N. Y.; Robert N. Marvin, of Jamestown, N. Y.; Richard 
P. Marvin, of Akron, Ohio ; Sarah Jane Hall, of Jamestown, N. Y.^ 
and Mary M. Goodrich, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Thomas J. McElheny, of Ithaca, is one of our former townsmen, 
whose accompanying likeness, it is needless to say, will be quickly rec- 
ognize d by our 
readers. He was 
bora in Drj'deu, 
June 5, 1824, be- 
ing the second of 
the seven chil- 
dren of J a m e s 
McElheny, one of 
the pioneers of 
D r y den, fro m 
New Jersey, who 
was an earh* jus- 
tice of the peace 
and an inn-keep- 
er of the town. 
From his exem- 
plary habits and 
high moral and 
religious charac- 
ter as a man, one 
would hardly sus- 
pect that, at one 
time, T h o m a s 
served as bar- 
tender at t h e 
Varna Hotel. 
He also taught 
school and served as school superintendent, after which he was en- 
gaged in mercantile business in Dryden village prior to 1861. He 
then, as a member of the war committee of the town, gave his time 
and energies almost exclusively to the work of supplying soldiers 
from the town of Dryden, and of caring for them and their families 
during the dark hours of the Rebellion. We have said something 



in the preceding pages of his performance of these arduous duties, and 
much more might truthfully and properly be said upon this subject. 
In the year 1865 he was elected from Dryden to the office of county 
clerk and, in 1868, was re-elected to the same position from Ithaca, 
being the first to be elected to that office for a second term. His 
natural taste for neatness and order in all matters committed to^ his 
charge made him especially qualified to manage and improve the de- 
tails of the county clerk's office, where liis services are still appreciat- 
ed in his capacity as deputy to our present popular county clerk, L. 
H. Van Kirk. 

Although a pronounced partisan in politics, Mr. McElheny is every- 
where recognized as an exemplar}-, consistent, public-spirited man, 
whose sympathies and judgment are always found upon the side of 
justice and humanity. His happy faculty of relating anecdotes makes 
his company always enjoyable, and it has always seemed to the writer 
that Mr. McElheny should, before his decease, write an account of the 
experiences of his lifetime, which, if written with the ability which he 
displays in narrating them, would always be interesting. 

Mr. McElheny has been twice married, first at Dryden, in 1853, to 
Ada Taber, who died in 1871. By her he had three children, two of 
whom, Mrs. Mary Young, of Wellsboro, Pa., and Mrs. Edna Good- 
win, of Trumansburg, now survive. In L875 he married, for his pres- 
ent wife, Mrs. Drake, a daughter of the Rev. V. M. Coryell, of Waver- 
ly, N. Y. 

Opjun S. Wood, born December 11, 1817. at Sherburne, N. Y., now 
a resident of Rosebank, Staten Island, though eighty j^ears of age, is 
still hale and hearty. The fourth of the eleven children of Benjamin 
and Mary (Bonesteel) Wood, he was the oldest brother of the late 
Mrs. Ezra Cornell. Being a few years his senior, she, a girl of much 
personal charm and force of character, was almost his self-appointed 
guardian through all his early years. Retiring, peace-loving, and 
thoughtful, he early became the victim of the cruel jokes of his brother 
next younger, who was exactly his opposite. This circumstance, as 
much as any other, fitted him to battle with the difficulties which he 
had to meet on his road to worldly success. He is believed to have 
accumulated, perhaps, the greatest wealth of au}^ person raised in Dry- 
den. After living with his parents a short time at Sherburne and 
elsewhere, he came with them, early in 1819, to become a resident of 
Dryden, at the small, old house, recently demolished, east of the Cady 
homestead, on the Bridle Road ; and, two years later, in the then 
wilderness, now known as Woodlawn, two miles west from Etna. 



He and Smith Robertson ])ursuetl their education together, at the 
"Eio'ht-Square Brick School-House," and at the Ithaca and Homer 
Academies, and thus formed a lifelonp; friendship. Quitting school 
early on account of the call bv the State for his practical knowledge of 
advanced mathematics, Mr. Wood began work in the ne^v Caual Sys- 
tem, and as a civil engineer aided many years in its construction. 
When that work ceased, in the early forties, he engaged with Hon. 
Ezra Cornell in the opening of the hrst line of telegraph, between 

Washington and 
Baltimore, built by 
the congressional 
appropriation for the 
Morse system. 

He is the lucky 
owner of the certifi- 
cate from Prof. S. F. 
B. Morse, to the ef- 
fect that he was the 
tirst operator tanglit 
by Morse to operate 
his telegraph, and 
opened his first tele- 
graph office at Wash- 
ington ; thus he was 
the first telegraph 
o p e r a tor in the 
w o r 1 d . Pushing 
northward and west- 
ward, with the open- 
ing of that system, 
oiiRix s. WOOD. lie was appointed to 

complete and open the New York, Albany and Buftalo Division. 
When the two terminal offices were opened, he acted as superin- 
tendent for a short time and then resigned in favor of Hon. Ezra 
Cornell. Livingston & Wells were then the sole owners of what 
later became, and ]iow is, the American Express Company. They 
had appointed Mr. Wood to build, develop, and superintend the 
great Canadian telegraph system, at such a liberal salary that, with 
his thrift, he was enabled to save three-quarters of it ; this became 
the foundation of his present great fortune. The longest and best 
portions of his life were spent in this service. Cautious invest- 

OTIS E. WOOD. 233 

iiients iu the profitable holdings of this system made possible his 
great wealth. 

Persistently loyal to his belief in the right, he found himself, at the 
breaking out ^f the War of the Rebellion, a contributor of five hun- 
dred dollars, as the foundation of the war bounty fund of his home 
town of Dryden, and the few brave fellows that are left of the first 
company sent out by the town of Dryden will remember his money as 
the first to be devoted to that purpose. Mr. Wood married Miss Julia 
A. Forbes, who became the mother of his two children now surviving. 
She was the sister of the wife of Minister of Finance Holton. Dis- 
gusted with the hostile Canadian sentiment towards our country dur- 
ing the war, he sold out all his Canadian property at advantageous 
])rices and returned to the States for a residence. 

Just at this time, he, with a friend or two, was enabled to invest his 
already large wealth in the purchase of the entire Morse Telegraph 
System of Wisconsin and Minnesota, which, though widespread, was 
at that time weak. His friend Smith Robertson was placed in charge 
of the system, which, a very few years later, rebuilt, greatly extended, 
and improved, was sold to the Western Union Telegraph company at 
many times its cost, thereby greatly increasing his wealth. Shortly 
afterwards the development of the Staten Island ferries and the Rapid 
Transit Railway made an opening for most of his large fortune ; and 
this was just before that enterprise was required as a New York ter- 
minal of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway, from which he realized a 
greatly increased fortune. 

Having removed to New York city when he made great investments 
there, he located at Rosebank, adjacent to Fort Wadsworth, on Staten 
Island, on the sh(n-e of the lower bay, in the beautiful home which he 
still occupies. Kind and indulgent to the needy, he numbers among 
his benefactions an endowment of fifty thousand dollars to Smith In- 
firmary, situated near his home. He is now president of the board of 
managers of the institution. 

Though still entirely competent to transact a regular business, he 
has passed it over to his only son, H. Holton Wood, of Brookline, 
Massachusetts, who was recently a member of the Connecticut Legis- 
lature, and to his only daughter, Mrs. Mary AVood Sutherland, who is 
the wife of a prominent young physician of Montreal. Mr. Wood is 
thus spending the evening twilight of a useful, successful life in quiet 

Otis E. Wood, a Dryden lad reared on a farm, was born at Wood- 
lawn, near Etna, N. Y^., the son of Benjamin and Mary (Bonesteel) 



Wood, who were also the parents of Orrin S. Wood and Mrs. Ezra 
Cornell. After a good school training, mainly at the " Eight-Sqnare 
Brick School-House," under the immediate direction of Smith Robert- 
son, the first college graduate and first school superintendent of Dry- 
den birth, he, then fourteen years old, went out with Mr. Ezra Cornell^ 
in 1846, to assist in building the new Morse telegraph system. At the 
very opening of the first line from New York he was attached to the 
Buffalo office. Shortly afterwards, he was promoted to New York, and 
not long after that was placed in charge at the Buffalo office — at that 

time, though only 
fifty years ago, far- 
ther west than any 
other telegraph of- 
fice in the country. 
The most n o t a V) 1 e 
feature of his con- 
nection with that 
wonderful service 
consists in his hav- 
ing been identified 
with perhaps the 
greatest change in 
its working since its 
inception and popu- 
lar adoption ; name- 
ly, the discovery of 
a way of reading by 
sound. Late in 1846 
OTIS ¥.. WOOD. George B. Prescott, 

Esq., the first Western Union Electrician, in the first book devoted 
to the history and science of telegraphy, speaks of his accomplish- 
ment in these words : " The first time we saw any one read in this 
manner, was in the winter of 1846-7, in New York, by Mr. Otis E. 
Wood, at Harlem Bridge. No trick of legerdemain has ever been able 
to excite so much interest in our mind as tliis. " Being obliged to 
give up this position on account of illness, he, after partially recover- 
ing, resumed the early purpose of his life, the completion of a college 
course. He studied in the academies at Ithaca and Aurora, and at the 
latter he taught for two years the low^er Latin and Greek classics. 
Driven from this purpose by ill health, he resumed work under the tel- 
egraph S5'stem and was appointed superintendent of the New York, Al- 

OTIS E. WOOD. 235 

bauy and Buffalo line, so much before he became of age that, accord- 
ing to The Telegraph Age, he still holds the world's record of hav- 
ing been the youngest superintendent ever appointed to the service. 
His charge included over five hundred miles of the most important 
line then in operation. 

The year after the opening of the direct railway from Syracuse to 
Rochester, he, while building its first telegraph line, was again com- 
pelled to flee to country life by his great enemy, ill health. During 
this interval he married Miss Olive A., the oldest sister of Col. George 
H. Houtz, of Etna, with whose family he carried on, for a long time, 
the business of merchandise and milling at that place. 

We cannot in the brief space afforded us undertake to detail Mr. 
Wood's connection with the construction of the old Ithaca & Cortland 
Railroad, accomplished through his assistance, under great diffi- 
culties, and resulting in the present efficient Elmira & Cortland Branch 
of the Lehigh Yalley, affording to the town of Dryden excellent rail- 
way facilities. The village of Freeville is also specially indebted to 
the devoted and efficient efforts of Mr. Wood in laying the foundation 
for its present prosperity. He is now the secretary and practical 
originator as well as business manager of the Cooperative Fire Insur- 
ance Co., whose principal office is at Ithaca, but whose business ex- 
tends into ten counties and comprehends in its risks and basis of its 
revenue ten millions of property. 

He is identified with every attempt at local improvement. He was 
the earliest investigator of electric power and light for Ithaca, and 
was the organizer and first president of the Ithaca Street Railway 
Company. He was also the first secretary of the Dryden Agricultural 
Society. He also built the line of telegraph between Dryden and 
Etna, in order to accept the management of the north and south line 
through Dryden township ; and it was under his superintendency that 
all of the scattered highway lines through Dryden and Groton town- 
ships w^ere rebuilt along the railways of Dryden township, and are 
now a part of the telegraph system of the Lehigh Valley Railway. 

Abhorrent of office holding, Mr. Wood is retiring, even socially, al- 
ways busy with progressive problems of business. While not an in- 
ventor, he is an organizer. Lacking in selfishness, he has never yet 
made his fortune; but his busy life will "round up" with such rela- 
tions to business enterprises, of many of which he has been the pio- 
neer, as will make him richer in spirit than most men who amass great 





John Miller is another Drvden man Avhom we shall mention, whose 
parents, Archibald Miller and his wife, Isabel (McKellar), emigrat- 
ed, in the year 1836, from Tighnabruich, Argylshire, Scotland, locat- 
ing in what is known as the South Hill neighborhood of the town of 
Dryden. The passage was then an experience of six weeks on the 
ocrnii instead of boing made, as it is now, in as many days. They 

were of the Scotch 

Presbyterian or- 
thodox stock, not- 
ed for their indus- 
try and integrity, 
and died in Diy- 
den in the years 
1890 and 1877 re- 
spectively. Their 
children include 
Miss Jeanuette 
Miller, Mrs. Da- 
vid Chattield, and 
Mrs. Geo. Cole, of 
Dryden; Archi- 
bald Miller, Jr., of 
Eagle Grove, la. ; 
and John Millei', 
e x - g o V e r n o r of 

is / w— -T-^^^l North Dakota, 

1 » \^^^^M iiow of Duluth, 

m \ m jaHHHH Minn., Avho de- 

WL %W ifl9^^^^^H| serves from us 

W' ^ f . , .^^El^l^^^H special mention 
Bb ^^m ^BtKB^B^^^^M ^^^^^ chapter, and 

whose portrait is 
JOHN MILLER. YiexQ given. He 

was born in Diyden, October 29, 1843, and received a common school 
and academic education, completed at the old Dryden Seminary. 

In 1861 he commenced business as a clerk for J. W. Dwight & Co., 
w^ith whom he became a co-partner in 1864. A few years afterwards, 
with David E. Bower, he purchased the entire interest of J. W. Dwight 
& Co., forming the firm of Bower & Miller, which continued business 
at Dryden until 1891. He was one of the originators and first stock- 
holders of the Dwight Farm k Land Co., which was organized in 1879, 


and he went to Dakota soon after to assist in the construction of the 
first buildings upon the lands of the company. 

In the year 1882, he was made the general superintendent of the 
companv, a position which he held until his resignation in 1896, when 
he organized The John Miller Co., at Duluth, Minn., for the ])urj)ose of 
engaging in the grain-commission business at that point, of which lat- 
ter company he is now the president and general manager. 

In 1888 he was elected, as a Republican, to the Territorial Council 
of the territory of Dakota, and, upon the admission of the state of 
North Dakota, he was nominated and elected as its first Governor, for 
the term ending July 1, 1891, declining to be a candidate for re-elec- 

Much important legislation of necessity was passed upon by the 
governor during this beginning of the state government. A scheme of 
transplanting the Louisiana Lottery system to North Dakota, which 
had then found some favor, was eftectually opposed and shut out by 
Gov. Miller, whose ancestry and training w^ere not of the character 
suited to tolerate gambling in any of its forms. The state prohibition 
law of Dakota was also enacted during his term. An ofter by his 
friends to support him for United States Senator was declined, during 
this time, the acceptance of which would have created a vacancy in the 
office of governor, and this he did not feel at liberty to do. 

In 1882 he married Miss Addie Tucker, of Dryden, and their pres- 
ent residence is at Duluth, Minnesota. 

Samuel D. Halliday Avas born in the town of Dryden, near the Ith- 
aca line, January 7, 1847, and although, since maturity, his home has 
usually been in Ithaca, where he now has an elegant residence half 
way up the East Hill, he has resided upon the old homestead in 
this town some portion of the time during the past few years. He 
was educated in the district schools until the age of fourteen, when he 
entered the Ithaca Academy, where he prepared for college. In the 
fall of 1866 he entered the Sophomore Class of Hamilton College. 
The succeeding year he taught in the Ithaca Academy and, upon the 
opening of Cornell L^niversity in 1868, he entered the Junior Class, 
graduating in 1870. Then followed tw^o years of preparation for the 
bar, to w^hich he was admitted in 1872. Alhough in politics a firm 
Democrat and hence in this county at a great disadvantage in the dis- 
tribution of political honors, in the year 1873 he w^as elected and 
served as district attorney and, in 1876 and 1878, he represented 
Tompkins county in the Assembly at Albany, since w^hicli time, excejot 
that he was the candidate of his party for State Senator, he has taken 



no part in politics as a candidate for office, but has frequently- been a 
delegate to state and national conventions. 

In June, 1874, Mr. Halliday was chosen trustee of Cornell Univer- 
sity by the alumni, a position which he held for ten years. He is 
now a trustee elected by the trustees themselves and, in more recent 

years, he has 
taken a promi- 
nent part in the 
management of 
the affairs of 
that great insti- 
tution. Since 
the death of H. 
W. Sage he has 
been the chair- 
man of the Man- 
aging Board, a 
position of great 
and trust, i n- 
volving the lead- 
ership in the 
conduct of the 
business affairs 
of the Universi- 
t}'. For nearly 
twenty-five years 
Mr. Halliday has 
been acknowl- 
edged as the 
leading 1 a w 3' e r 
of the Tompkins 
County Bar, not 

in any particular branch of the profession alone, but as an " all 
around " lawyer. His connection with the Cornell University lit- 
igation, which, of itself, has been very prominent during the past 
few years, has formed onlj^ a small part of his extensive practice. 

George B. Davis was born in the town of Dryden in 1840. He at- 
tended the common schools and, from the village of McLean, went to 
the Homer Academy, and later to the New York Central College at 
McGrawville. He graduated from the Columbian College Law School, 




Washington, D. C, taking the deoree of L. L. B., in 18G9. Like most 
of the self-made men in this part of the country, he taught school 
at intervals during his college da3'S, and by this means, was able to 
pay his own expenses. He was engaged in teaching in the cit}^ of 
Syracuse, during the war, and, in the last year of the great conflict, 
served in the United States Militar}' Telegraph Department under 

General Eckert. 
At the close of the 
war, he was ap- 
pointed to a clerk- 
ship in the De- 
partment of the 
Interior at Wash- 
ington. It was 
during this time 
that he pursued 
his legal studies, 
and his location 
at Washington 
gave h i m an op- 
portunity of b e - 
coming familiar 
witli public af- 
fairs, as Avell as 
legal proceedings 
in the higher 

He commenced 
practice in Itha- 
ca, in 1876, and, 
for four years, 
was associated 
with Mr. S. D. 
Halliday. He has built up for himself a large and lucrative practice, 
and now stands as one of the prominent members of the Ithaca Bar. 
Perhaps the most important victory, and the one which has ex- 
tended his reputation as a lawyer of ability beyond the confines of this 
state, was in the celebrated Barber case. Great ability was shown by 
Mr. Davis in^the conduct of this noted case, involving an immense 
amount of research and studj', in which he was successful in estab- 
lishing the theory upon which the defense was conducted. 




Mr. Davis has never held office, although his i)arty has honored him 
at difierent times, by naming him for county judge, supervisor, etc. 
He was offered by Gov. Hill the appointment of county clerk, upou 
the death of Phillip Partenheimer, which office Mr. Davis declined, 
since he felt that he could not sacrifice his large practice for the posi- 
tion. Mr. Davis is a graceful and fluent speaker, and has been in 
great demand in political campaigns and on other occasions. 

He is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity and for sev- 
eral years was a member of the Grand Lodge of the state, wherein he 
performed good service toward paying oft' the Masonic debt and estab- 
lishing the Masonic Home at Utica. He is also a very active member 
of the Unitarian church of Ithaca, and has delivered several lectures 
in the popular course w'hich that church has established. 

Since 1872, Mr. Davis has affiliated with the Democratic party, and 
has given considerable time and attention to its success. He has been 
prominent in the county and state conventions, and very active in the 
anti-Hill campaign in 1892, and is a non-resident member of the Re- 
form Club and of the Sound Money Club of New York City. 

Mr. Davis has a wife and two grown-up daughters, and lives in a 
pleasant home on East State Street in Ithaca. Socially, he is friendly 
and agreeable and, though a member of 
several social clubs, he takes the great- 
est pleasure in the delights of his home 

John D. Benton w^as born in our neigh- 
boring tow-n of Yirgil, Aj^ril 2, 1842, and 
w^as, at one time, in partnership with Pet- 
er Mineah, proprietor of the old hotel 
in Dryden village. He lived on the farm 
m Yirgil, receiving a common school ed- 
ucation, until the death of his father in 
1856, after which he attended the Cort- 
landville school for one year and then en- 
gaged in the hotel-keeping business at 
Yirgil, Dryden, and Cortland, until 1868. 
Like many boys who are early left without 
a father's care and guidance, he, in early life, neglected his opportun- 
ities, but, unlike the most of them, he had sense enough to see his 
mistake before it was too late and strength of character enough to 
profit by his experience. When twenty-six years of age he com- 
menced the study of law with Duell & Foster, at Cortland, and, from 



1871 to 1874, he held the office of sheriff of Cortland county, his man- 
ly figure, and gentlemanly bearing, as well as his good common sense, 
well adapting him to perform the duties of that office. 

He afterwards attended the Albany Law School, graduating in 1876 
and, going west, commenced the practice of law at Fargo, Dakota Ter- 
ritory, in 1878. He was sheriff of Cass county, Dakota, in 1887 and 
1888 ; state treasurer under Gov. Church ; nominee for Congress in 
1890; and, in 1892, he lacked but one vote of being elected to the 
United States Senate, from North Dakota. Since going to Dakota, 
Mr, Benton has been actively engaged in the practice of law, together 
with large farming and banking interests in that section. 

In politics he is a Democrat and has alwaj-s represented the best el- 
ement of his party, everywhere opposing dishonestv' and corruption in 
political, as well as in business affairs. 

We have already taken the liberty, in a previous chapter, to refer to 
his ability to remember and to relate the humorous anecdotes of Dry- 
den village, in which capacity he has no superior. 

Dr. Francis J. Cheney, now principal of the Cortland Normal 
School, resided in Dryden village for seven years, daring which time 
he was princii3al of the Dryden Union School, and, at the same time, 
studied law and Avas admitted as an attorney and counselor of the Su- 
preme Court of this state. He was born in Warren, Pa., June 5, 1848. 
At six years of age, he removed with his parents to Cattaraugus coun- 
ty, N. Y. His father was a farmer, and the son lived on the farm 
until twenty-one years of age, working at farm work during the sum- 
mer and going to school in winter. By dint of perseverance he thus 
prepared for college, teaching several terms in the district school, in 
the meantime. 

In 1868 he entered Genesee college and graduated at the head of his 
class, taking the degree of A. B. in 1872, with the first class sent out 
after the above-named institution was merged into Sj^racuse Universi- 
ty. In the spring of 1872, before graduation, he was elected to the 
chair of mathematics in the Northern New York Conference Seminaiy, 
at Antwerp. He remained in this position for two terms, when he was 
called to the principalship of Dryden Union School, where he re- 
mained for seven years. 

Just as he was making arrangements to go west to engage in the 
practice of law he received a letter from the Kingston Board of Educa- 
tion, in which he was invited to become the principal of the Kingston 
Free Academy. The inducements held out by the Kingston board 
were such that he abandoned the project of going west and accepted 



the invitation. He remained in this position until he had completed 
a term of service ten years in length for the Kinoston people. 

In 1885 he reaped the benefit, in culture, of an extended tour of Eu- 
rope, visiting England, Scotland, Germany and Switzerland. In 1889 
he took the degree of A. M. and Ph. D., upon examination in the 
School of History at Syracuse University. He has twice been elected 

to the presidency 
of the Associated 
Academic Princi- 
pals of the state. 
After serving the 
Board of Regents 
as State Inspect- 
or of Academies, 
Dr. Cheney was 
appointed princi- 
])al of the State 
Normal and 
Training School 
at Cortland, N. 
Y., Aug. 5th, 18- 
91, which posi- 
tion he still 
holds. During 
his administra- 
tion of this school 
the old building 
has been com- 
pletely renovated 
and a large and 
substantial addi- 
tion made, doub- 
DK. FRANCIS J. CHENEY. li^g the capacity 

of the building; the attendance of the Normal department has in- 
creased from 384 to more than 600 ; and it is now the second largest 
Normal school in the state, ranking among the first in thoroughness 
and efliciency. Its graduates are in constant demand because of the 
careful and thorough training wdiich they get in preparation for their 

In March, 1896, Dr. Cheney suffered the most terrible bereavement 
that can befall a man, in the death of his estimable Avife, Lydia H. 



'Cheney, whom a large circle of friends in Dryden had learned to high- 
ly regard. 

Warren W. Tyler was born about three miles east of Dryden vil- 
lage, on a farm which is now owned by Eugene Northrup, and lived 
there until about eighteen years old, having worked on the farm the 
greater part of the time up to this date, when, with his father's famil}^ 

he moved into 
the village of 
Dryden. His fa- 
ther, Moses Ty- 
ler, was born in 
Virgil in 1809, on 
the farm now 
owned by Ernest 
Lewis, which is 
bounded on one 
side by the east 
line of the town 
of Dryden. His 
grandfather, Oli- 
ver, was an early 
pioneer of Virgil 
and a brother of 
another Moses 
Tyler, who was a 
pioneer in the 
north-east section 
of Dryden. His 
mother was Mary 
Vandenburgh, his 
grandmother be- 
ing the second 
wife of Selden 

Marvin, whom the latter married in Truxtou, Cortland county, and 
who formerly came from Saratoga county, in this state. 

The first day's work he ever did away from home was for a neigh- 
bor, gathering turnips and beets to be used in feeding stock during 
the winter. Although only a lad about ten years old, he worked from 
daylight till dark, for which he received twelve and one-half cents per 
day, and in payment, the good lady of the house where he worked 
made his first suit of clothes from new cloth. Before this he had been 



wearing the cast-off clotliiug of his older brothers, and he was very 
prcud of this, his first new suit. 

After moving to Dryden village, his time was occupied for two or 
three years in various occupations, including in summer farming and 
cattle-driving, attendance at school for a short time when possible, 
and teaching school in the winter. In 1864 he entered the employ- 
ment of Sears & Spear, in the general merchandise business, and re- 
mained with them for three years, receiving as a salary for the first 
year four dollars per week, boarding himself. In 1867 he entered the 
emplojanent of Dodge & Hebard, of Williamsport, Pa., in the lumber 
business, and remained in the employment of the Dodge interest for 
eleven years. In 1878 he started in the wholesale lumber business in 
Buffalo, and, fi'om that time to 1891, was engaged in the lumber and 
shipping business. At that time he sold out his lumber business to 
his brothers, and retired from active business for six years, living in 
California during that period. Returning to Buffalo in 1897, he joined 
his brothers again, conducting business on a large scale, and they are 
now handling about forty million feet of lumber per year. 

In his father's family were nine children, six boys and three girls ; 
six of these are now living, three boys and three girls. One brother, 
James V. Tyler, died in the service of his country, after having been 
through the terrible battles of Spottsylvania and the Wilderness, 
through to Cold Harbor, where he contracted a disease from which he 
died in a hospital in New York soon after. 



In connection with the plan of the preparation of a local histor}^ of 
the first century of the town's inhabitation by civilized people, the 
prospect of a celebration during the one hundredth year of such in- 
habitation was undertaken. The preliminary steps for both projects 
were instituted at a public meeting, held on February 22, 1897, at Ly- 
ceum Hall, in Freeville, at which the Executive and Century Commit- 
tees were named with authority to complete and carry out the plans 
thus far evolved. At a subsequent meeting in Dryden village, the 
subject of the construction of a new log-cabin, modelled substantially 
after the first known human habitation erected in the township in the 
summer of 1797, was considered, and a special committee was appoint- 
ed to carry out that feature of the preparations by building such a 



cabin of the best available material upon the grounds of the Agricul- 
tural Society, where the celebration was to be held, and within eighty 
rods of the site of the original cabin of one hundred years ago. The 
farmers contributed the logs ; Harrison Tyler, a former resident, 
now engaged in the lumber business in Tonawanda, provided the 
shingles for the permanent roof, which was temporarily covered 
with bark in imitation of the manner of the olden time ; Andrew 
Albright, of Newark, N. J., sent his check for thirteen dollars to pro- 
vide a log for each of the former members of his father's family in 
Dryden ; and thus, with other contributions of labor, money and 
material, the new log-cabin was so substantially constructed that it is 
lioped it may, with some care, survive until Dryden's second centen- 
nial. For the cut of this cabin see page 12. 

In perfecting the arrangements for the celebration, others were 
called upon by the Executive Committee and gave their aid in the car- 
rying out of the enterprise, the full list of which committees and indi- 
viduals officially connected with it is here given, as follows : 



Geo. E. Goodrich, 
Almanzo "W. George, 
Chester D. Burch, 

Mott J. Eobertson, 
Willard Shaver, 
Philip Snyder, 
Jesse Bartholomew, 

Daniel M. White, 
Artemas L. Tyler, 
Joseph A. Genunc 

Musical Director, 

Leader of Morning Meeting, 

Dr. F. S. Howe- 
Geo. E. Monroe, Esq- 


Daniel Bartholomew, 
Theron Johnson, 

Martin E. Tripp, 
Archibald Chatfield, 
Jesse B. Wilson. 

Jackson Jameson, 
Chester D. Burch, 


Mrs. Wm. Hungerford, Mrs. John Lormor, Mrs. Abram Hutchings. 


Jennie S. Wheeler, 
Kose Hubbard, 

Eva Goodrich, 
Anna Johnson, 

Jennie Kennedy, 
Lilian Purvis, 



Mrs. J. D. Ross, 
Mrs. Edd Mosso, 

Millie McKee, 
Anna L. Steele, 

Laura Jennings, 
Lilian Mirick. 

Albright, Aaron, 
Allen, Dr. E. D., 
Brown, Henry C, 
Bartholomew, Caleb, 
Banfield, H. P., 
Baker, Wm. H., 
Beach, Dr. J., 
Bartholomew, D., 
Burch, Thos. J., 
Brown, Frank E., 
Cook, Bradford,-'" 
Chatlield, Arch, 
Collins, Arthur, 
Dnryea, Richard, 
DeCoudres, Wm. F., 
Deuel, Thaddeus S., 
Darling, Edward, 
Davidson, Robert, 
Ewers, Alvah, 
English, Jesse U., 
Fox, James, 
Ford, J. Giles, 
Fisher, William R., 
Fulkerson, S. C, 
Fitts, Leonard, 
Griswold, Benjamin, 
Griswold, Charles D. 
George, Joel B., 
Genung, Dr. H., 
Grover, John S., 
Givens, Edward, 
George, James H., 
Howe, Dr. F. S., 
Hollister, Frank, 

*Since deceased. 


Hile, Sylvester, 
HiUer, Rev. F. L., 
Houtz, Geo. H., 
Houpt, Henry H., 
Hiles, John W, 
Hiles, Harrison, 
Hanford, Geo. E., 
Jameson, Jackson, 
Johnson, Theron, 
Knapp, Cyrus, 
Lamont, John D., 
Lormor, Henry A., 
Luther, Orson, 
Lawrence, Azel, 
Lumbard, James, 
Lupton, Seward G., 
Miller, Stanley, 
McArthur, John, 
McArthur, Benjamin, 
Messenger, Levi, 
Mosso, C. A., 
Mineah, John H., 
Mineah, N. H., 
McKee, Samuel, 
Montgomery, Dr. J. J., 
Montgomery, Dan'l R. 
McElheny, J. E., 
Pratt, John H., 
Primrose, George, 
Rowland, Moses, 
Rhodes, Truman, 
Rockwell, G. M., 
Reed, Truman B., 
Rhodes, Omar K., 

Richardson, W. H., 
Schutt, Robert, 
Seager, Russel L., 
Snyder, Harry A., 
Smith, Wm. J., 
Sutfin, James, 
Sutfin, W. J.,- 
Skillings, Samuel, 
Shaver, J. W., 
Shaver, Ira C, 
Shaver, W. J., 
Spence, Rev. Fred," 
Smith, E. C, 
Sweet, G. C, 
Sperry, Charles J., 
Snyder, Bradford, 
Snyder, Alviras, 
Seager, E. M., 
Stone, A. C, 
Simons, Andrew, 
Stickle, Theodore, 
Sheldon, Benj.," 
Smiley, Artemas, 
Tripp', Martin E., 
Terry, Rev. J. W.,* 
Tripp, Geo. W., 
Wheeler, Enos D., 
Watson, George E., 
Wilson, J. B.,' 
Wheeler, D. T., 
Wheeler, Fred R., 
Wade, Rev. E. R." 

A printed program of the exercises was prepared and distributed, 
containing the songs to be sung during the public exercises, including,, 
in addition to some such familiar and popular pieces as "America"" 
and "Auld Lang Syne," three original compositions written expressly 
for the occasion, which were as follows : 



^tail ^\ci'oic .t'atUcrsi l 

"Words by Xeli :N'ETTnic. 

Welsh Melofh 


1. Lift our 

2. Look ye 

3. Dry - den 

voic - es in the cho - rus ; Kaise the praise of 

on the land ye found - ed ; .See the pahn of 
name of learn - ing, Po - e - sy anci 



Fa - thers 

Moth- ers ! 

Give hon - or's meeil to 
plant -ed! Praise the har - vest grant - ed ! No nig - gard stint of 

Let - ters ! Break-ing ty - rant fet - ters — Her plum - y flight — a 

-L^ ^ ■ ■ — = r-^»— -=-> z:z --^--i-s a » 



no - ble deed, And Mr - tue's 
love's pure mint We give, from 
glow with light, Bringsdawning 




all oth - ers ! \Vi 
hearts chant-ed I May no has- er 
the wa - ters. Hail we glad - ly 




" m g 


— 1 \-^ 



— , 


— * — 

-# — t— 

— .— 


way ye wrought us; 
mood dis - traught us ; 
sound John Dry - den ! 




we heed 
his fam 




les - 
cy - 

ye bought us; 
son taught us — 
cles wid - en I 


Fair the lier - it - age thrift bro't us— Our be - lov - ed Town 
Thrift and Faith and Hope tlie Mot - toes ( )f our lov - ed T(.>\vn 
May its on - ward way be guid - en By our lov - ed To 

wn : 


Tune — Marcluiuj Through Georgia. 

1. Build the old lop;-cabin, boys, we'll honor it in song ; 
Build it with the spirit of a hundred years agone ; 

Build it as our fathers built, with noble hearts and strong ; 
For we are celebrating Drvden. 

Chorus— Hurrah ! Hurrah ! we'll join the jubilee,! 
Hurrah ! Hurrah ! then joyful let us be ! 
Let us all unite in song and rule the hour with glee, 
While we are celebrating Dryden. 

2. How our mothers trained us there in lessons true and sound, 
How the children loved it, too, Avho played its doors around ; 
Now their children's children in the ranks of men are found. 

And they are celebrating Dryden. — Cho. 

3. As we see it standing here the thoughts come crowding fast. 
And our hearts are filled again with mem'ries of the past ; 
Scenes we see of long ago each fairer than the last, 

While we are celebrating Dryden. — Cho. 

4. So to-day we'll honor it with songs and smiles and tears. 
As it shows itself to us from out the mist of years ; 

And we'll bless its builders with three hearty, rousing cheers, 
As we are celebrating Dryden. — Cho. 


Tune — Glonj, Glort/, Halleltijah, 

1. We celebrate our hundredth anniversar}- to-day, 

To greet old friends and neighbors from near and far away. 
To commemorate with honor the past and present day, 
As we go marching on. 

Chorus — Glory, glory, hallelujah ! Glory, glory, hallelujah ! 
Glory, glory, hallelujah ! As we go marching on. 


% Our new log-cabin as it is shall represent the old, 
The first one built in Drj'den, as in history we're told, 
The latch-string now is hanging out to welcome young and old, 
As we go marching on. — Cho. 

3. Then let our voices glorify the century that's gone, 

Giving praise to our ancestors with our music and our song, 
And may the mem'ries of this day our happiness prolong, 
As we go marching on. — Cho. 

We here copy from the columns of The Dryden Herald an account 
of the celebration, as follows : 

Dryden's great Centeiniial Anniversary has come and gone and the 
inhabitants of this village have resumed their usual occupations. The 
celebration began at midnight and from that time until sunrise the re- 
verberation of cannon disturbed the slumbers of the villagers, who 
slept only to dream of mighty confiicts and the wars of by-gone years. 

The day of the Centennial dawned cloudless and the sun was evi- 
dently on a triumphal march, shedding his beams on all with a glow- 
ing impartiality. A stray cloud or two might have been welcome, 
but every one was glad it did not rain and even accepted the intense 
heat with joyful resignation. 

The streets of the village were indeed a pretty sight and Main street 
especially had never before been so profusely decorated as on the 
morning of Dryden's hundredth anniversary. The store fronts were 
one mass of red, white and blue, and the flags and bunting lent their 
folds to what little breeze there was. On other streets the decorations 
were also generous, as they should have been on such a day. 

B}' ten o'clock in the morning the fair ground was a busy scene. 
The committee of ladies was diligently emploj'ed in arranging the an- 
cient articles that were being brought in, and Mr. Goodrich was pa- 
tiently trying to answer calls from all directions and be in several 
places at once. On entering Floral Hall one involuntarily expected to 
see masses of flowers m their usual place, but instead of that the Dry- 
den Band occupied the " pos}' stand " and there breathed their sweet- 
est notes. In compliment to the rural ancestors who wore the sturdy 
pioneers in Dryden a hundred years ago, the Band attired themselves 
in farmer costumes, most fearfully and wonderfully made, but which 
could not disguise the military precision of the wearers or take away 
the classical expression of our true and tried musicians. 

Shortly before eleven o'clock, the Band leading the way, the crowd 
proceeded to the grand-stand and to the platform erected over the op- 
posite side of the track. On account of some delay the morning ex- 
ercises were necessarily brief. The large chorus, led b}' Dr. Howe, 
sang " America " and " Glory Hallelujah " and then Mr. Monroe gave 
a few humorous sentences of welcome, finishing by saying that he pre- 
ferred that the old men present, who knew so much of Dryden's his- 


tory, should occupy the greater part of the time. He then read some 
letters of regret from those who would have liked to have been in 
Dryden but found it impossible. Among these were Hon. Andrew 
Albright, of Newark, N. J., who has shown his interest in Dryden by 
his beautiful gift of the fountain ; Herbert Lovell, of Elmira, a former 
principal of our school ; and Hon. Wm. Marvin, an old-time resident 
and honored citizen of this village. Mr. Monroe then introduced Mr. 
Smith Robertson, of Eau Claire, Wis., paj'ing him an earnest tribute 
of respect by referring to his clear record as an official of Tompkins 
county, and his moral courage in saving the county from disgrace by 
putting down lynch law. 

Mr. Robertson then came forward, saying that if he should tr}' to 
make a regular speech he might feel like L. H. Culver, of Ithaca, who, 
called upon to make a patriotic oration, began thus : " The American 
Eagle soars aloft — ahem — the American Eagle soars aloft — By thun- 
der, I've got her up, you'll have to get her down again." So Mr. Rob- 
ertson, not wishing to be in Mr. Culver's predicament, declined speech- 
making but said that he would talk a little of old times in Dryden, and 
this he proceeded to do in a ver}' pleasast and modest manner. Ho 
said that his paternal ancestor, in company with two young relatives, 
found his way from the East through tangled forests, after weeks of 
traveling, to Lot 53, upon which his son, Mott J. Robertson, now lives, 
March 2nd, 1798. Here they camped for the night, and in the morn- 
ing their l)eds were covered with two inches of snow. They made a 
clearing, built a log-house and kept bachelor's hall for awhile until 
the place was fit for womankind. He referred to the sturdy pioneers 
who founded Dryden, as a remarkable ch^ss, faithful and enduring, and 
also gifted with rare courage to surmount the difficulties that they did. 
He referred to the early history of the Agricultural Society, of whicii 
he was the second president, and spoke of his interest in its progress. 
He was i3resident of the society forty years ago, at the time when the 
permanent site was bought and the large building was erected. He 
had not been in Dryden or about Tompkins county in thirty -four 
years and he was delighted at the evidence of growth and thrift whicli 
he had seen. He spoke of the grandeur of the scenery in different 
parts of the county and of the impressions it made on strangers. 

Mr. Robertson's remarks were somewhat interrupted by the enthu- 
siasm of the ball-players and on-lookers not far away and by the pass- 
ing of the fusileer bicyclers, but all this he took good-naturedly, real- 
izing that young America was trying to help along the celebration. 

The fusileer bicyclers in strange array having passed the stand and 
the laughter died away, Mr. Monroe then introduced Mr. Hugo Dolge, 
the owner of the Dryden AVoolen Mills, as a representative business 
man interested in the welfare of the village. Mr. Dolge spoke of the cir- 
cumstances under which he came to Dryden and of his pleasant first 
impressions. He considered this a pearl among the villages of Cen- 
tral New York, offering better advantages, in most respects, than the 
average place of its size, and especially he commended our excellent 
school, churches, etc. Mr. Dolge said he had found good friends here 



whom he never coukl forget and his heartfelt wish was for the pros- 
perity and jjrogress of Dryden. He called for three cheers for Dry- 
den, which were given with vim. 

Mr. Daniel Bartholomew followed Mr. Dolge in a few wide-awake 
remarks with regard to the work accomplished by Mr. Robertson in 
the early days of the Agricultural Society. He considered him too 
modest in his estimate of his connection with the society, for he had 
been the projector of so much that had made for its welfare and, had it 
not been for his pioneer efforts, the society could not have made the 
progress it did. Just forty years ago that day Mr. Bartholomew and 
Mr. Givens were working on the Fair Building and could testify to the 
efforts Mr. Robertson made. He then ]n-oposed three cheers for Mr. 

Robertson, which 
were given heartily. 
The exercises of 
the morning were 
brought to a close 
b}- a selection by 
the Band, and the 
people dispersed to 
find a supply for 
the wants of the in- 
ner man before list- 
ening to another 
" feast of reason and 
flow of soul " in the 

All during the 
day there were 
crowds about the 
log-c a b i n , w h i c h 
was presided over 
b y Mrs. A b r a m 
Hu tellings, Mrs. 

INSIDE THE LOG-CABIN. y'^^}'''''^\ ^ ^^ ^ ? V' ~ 

I'ltotohyMr^. (I.E. Monro,.. ford aud Mrs. John 

Lormor. The ancient furnishings made it into a complete model of 
the old-fashioned log-house. Mrs. Lormor si)un Hax and little bits 
of this wound on cards were sold as souvenirs, the proceeds going as 
a fund for the laying of a floor in the cabin. 

By noon it was fully apparent that Dryden was to keep its reputa- 
tion for getting together crowds, for there were people coming to the 
fair grounds from every direction, and by the time the afternoon exer- 
cises were begun it was estimated that about five thousand were on 
the grounds. The noon hour made the celebration seem like one 
grand picnic. Many brought their lunches or procured them ah the 
eating house and there was a general visiting time. The interesting 
relics were looked over and commented upon, and reminiscences of 
other days told by the older people. At times there Avas such a crowd 


in front of the door and window of the log-cabin that it was impos- 
sible to get a chance to look in before standing iu line for some time. 
Evidentl}' the young people who looked curionsl}' at the ancient fur- 
nishings preferred to go to housekeeping with modern utensils. Just 
outside the window of the cabin was placed a piece of the boulder 
from which the first mill-stone was cut in 1800 by Daniel White and 
used for thirty years in the grist-mill at Freeville, the first in the town. 

Among the portraits of the former Dryden people to be seen in the 
Fair Building were those of Judge Ellis, who in his day was known as 
" King John of Dryden " and in a certain sense merited the title from 
the fact that he served as supervisor of the town twenty-seven years 
and was elected member of Assembly for the county in 1832 and 1833, 
during which time the portrait in question was painted at Albany, be- 
sides serving as judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Auburn while 
Dryden was still a part of Cayuga county, and after the formation 
of Tompkins county in 1817 serving in the same capacity in Ithaca ; 
an enlarged photograph of Major Peleg Ellis, who commanded the 
Dryden company of militia at the battle of Queenston in 1812, and was 
the pioneer of Ellis Hollow ; Dr. J. W. Montgomery and Elias W. 
Cady, both of whom served as early members of the Assembl}^ from 
Tompkins county ; David J. Baker, Thomas Jameson, Sr., Abram 
Griswold, John Hiles, Ebenezer McArthur, Wm. Hanford, Geo. Han- 
ford, Col. Chas. Givens, Wm. Nelson, Asa Fox, Leonard and Luther 
Griswold, and many others. 

Among the relics were many different kinds of spinning wheels, 
swifts and reels ; an ancient clock eight feet high and over a century 
old still keeping good time ; a rocker over two hundred years old, 
originally from England, but which was brought here earl}^ in the cen- 
tury by an aunt of Jane McCrea, who was murdered by the Indians in 
the Revolution, and to whose family the chair belonged ; an ancient 
desk brought by the Ellis family from their former home in Rhode 
Island as early as 1800 ; a griddle, hammered out by hand, the prop- 
erty of Joseph A. Genung ; an old perforated tin lantern such as was 
used seventy-five years ago, this one having been presented by John 
McGraw to John R. Lacy about that time ; a copy of Rumsey's Com- 
panion, published in Dryden in 1857 ; a printed call for Dryden volun- 
teers of the War of the Rebellion in 1864 ; an almanac of the year 
1797 ; several old Bibles of from one hundred to two hundred years of 
age, as well as numerous other old publications ; swords and fiint-lock 
guns dating back to the Revolution, as well as home-made linen, flax 
and thread, and hetchels and cards with which tliey were prepared ; 
an old Dryden deed of 1790 ; and a letter directed to Lewis Fortner, 
of Dryden, in 1808, in care of the postmaster at Milton, then the near- 
est postoffice ; as well as old canes, dishes, candlesticks, bottles and 
implements too numerous to mention here. 

At one o'clock occurred the annual parade of the fire department 
with its four hose carriages, accompanied by the Band and a company 
of small boys with the small hand engine of years ago, as well as the 
larger hand engine, now superseded by the water-works. 


At two o'clock the fire company, headed by the Band, marched to 
the fair orounds and past the grand stand. This was the signal which 
brought the people together for the exercises of the afternoon. All 
the seats were soon filled and, though the thermometer registered nine- 
tj^-six degrees in the shade, people managed to keep good natured and 
attentive. There was a liberal use of fans and once in a while mem- 
bers of the audience would turn their eyes longingly toward the cool- 
looking grove near the grounds. 

The program began with the announcements by Mr. Goodrich, fol- 
lowed by two inspiring selections b}' the band and orchestra and a 
grand chorus led by Dr. Howe. Rev. F. L. Hiller made the opening- 
prayer and then Mr. Goodrich introduced I*rof. George Williams, who 
read in an able manner and with resonant voice " Alexander's Feast, " 
a selection from one of John Dryden's poems. This was followed by 
the singing of Auld Lang Syne to orchestra accompaniment. Miss 
Victoria C. Mooie then recited in a charming manner "The First Set- 
tler's Story " by Will Carleton. Miss Moore's voice was excellent for 
the trying occasion, and stood the test that was made upon it grandly. 
We venture to say there are few ladies that could have recited to a 
vast crowd m the open air on an intensely hot day and kept the at- 
tention of her audience as did Miss Moore. Slie was heartih' ap- 
plauded for her successful effort. 

The music throughout the exercises was splendid and the people 
sang as though they heartily enjoyed it. Some of the songs had been 
written for the occasion and these were given with a peculiar zest. 
Dr. Howe well deserved the praise he received for the work he had 
done in preparation for the afternoon. He gratefully expressed his 
appreciation to all the musicians for their cooperation. 

Mr. Goodrich pleasantly introduced Hon. J. E. Eggleston, of Cort- 
land, the speaker of the day, who gave a ver}^ fine address, the true 
and noble sentiment of which will long remain in the minds of those 
who heard him and could not fail to inspire them with the wish to 
lead higher and better lives, and to make the best use of the many 
God-given opportunities of these remarkable modern days. After the 
benediction and three rousing cheers for Judge Eggleston, Mr. Good- 
rich, and Dr. Howe, the audience dispersed. 

The selection from the works of John Dryden, read by Prof. Will- 
iams, was one of the most celebrated of that writer's shorter poems. 
It was included in the program of the day's celebration as a proper 
mode of showing respect for the great English Poet Laureate, after 
whom our township was named, and is inserted here for the same rea- 
son and as an interesting specimen of the learned and studied style 
of diction which flourished in Dryden's time, two hundred years ago. 
The title is "Alexander's Feast," and it was written in honor of St. 
Cecilia's Day, she being the patron saint of music in England, where 
her anniversary is annually celebrated with songs and music. The 


poem represents Alexander the Great seated with his conquering fol- 
lowers at a feast while his musician, Timotheus, with his performance 
on his lyre, exhibits the " Power of Music" upon his master. The 
story is related in the poem as follows : 


'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won 
By Philip's warlike son : 
Aloft in aAvful state. 
The godlike hero sate 

On his imperial! throne ; 
His valiant peers were placed around, 
Their browns with roses and with myrtles bound 
{So should desert in arms be crowned) ; 
The lovely Thais by his side 
Sate, like a blooming eastern bride. 
In flower of youth and beauty's pride. 
Happy, happy, liapp}^ pair ! 
None but the brave, 
None but the brave, 
None but the brave deserves the fair. 
Timotheus, placed on high 
Amid the tuneful quire, 
With flying fingers touched the lyre ; 
The trembling notes ascend the sky. 

And heavenly joys inspire. 
The song began from Jove, 
Who left his blissful seats above 
(Such is the power of mighty Love). 
A dragon's fiery form belied the god ; 
Sublime on radiant spires he rode. 
When he to fair Olympia pressed, 
And while he sought her snowy breast. 
Then round her slender waist he curled. 
And stamped an image of himself, a sovereign of the world. 
The listening crowd admire the lofty sound — 
A present deity ! the^' shout around ; 
A present deity ! the vaulted roofs rebound. 
With ravished ears 
The monarch hears. 
Assumes the god. 
And seems to shake the spheres. 

The praise of Bacchus, then, the sweet musician sung — 
Of Bacchus, ever fair and ever 3'oung ; 
The joll}^ god in triumph comes ; 
Sound the trumpets ; beat the drums ! 


Flushed with a purple ^race, 
He shows his honest face ; 
Now (ri\e the hautboys breath — he comes, he comes ! 
Bacchus, ever fair and young, 

Drinking joys did first ordain ; 
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure : 
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure : 
Eicli the treasure. 
Sweet the pleasure ; 
Sweet is pleasure after pain. 

Soothed with the sound, the king grew vain ; 
1*^' Fought all his battles o'er again ; 

And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew the slain. 
The master saw the madness rise — 
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes ; 
And, while he Heaven and Earth defied. 
Changed his hand, and checked his pride. 
He chose a mournful Muse, 
Soft pity to infuse ; 
He sung Darius great and good, 

By too severe a fate 
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen — 
Fallen from his high estate. 

And weltering in his blood ; 
Deserted, at his utmost need. 
By those his ftn-mer bounty fed ; 
On the bare earth exposed he lies. 
With not a friend to close his eyes. 
With downcast looks the joyless victor sate, 
Revolving in his altered soul 

The various turns of chance below ; 
And, now and then, a sigh he stole ; 
And tears began to flow. 

The mighty master smiled, to see 
That Love was in the next degree ; 
'Twas but a kindred sound to move, 
For pit}^ melts the mind to love. 

Softly sweet, in Lydian measures, 

Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures. 
War, he sung, is toil and trouble ; 
Honor but an empt}' bubble — 

Never ending, still beginning — 
Fighting still, and still destroying ; 

If the world be worth thy winning. 
Think, O think it worth enjojdng ! 

Lovely Thais sits beside thee — 

Take the goods the gods provide thee. 


The many rend the sky with loud applause ; 
So Love was crowned, but Music won the cause. 
The prince, unable to conceal his pain. 
Gazed on the fair 
AVho caused his care, 
And sighed and looked, sighed and looked. 
Sighed and looked, and sighed again. 
At length, with love and wine at once oppressed, 
The vanquished victor sunk u]3on her breast. 

Now strike the golden lyre again — 
A louder yet, and yet a louder strain ! 
Break his bands of sleep asunder. 
And rouse him, like a rattling peal of thunder. 
Hark, hark ! the horrid sound 
Has raised up his head ! 
As awaked from the dead. 
And amazed, he stares around. 
Revenge ! revenge ! Timotheus cries ; 
See the Furies arise ! 
See the snakes that they rear, 
How they hiss in their hair. 
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes ! 
Behold a ghastly band. 
Each a torch in his hand ! 
Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain, 
And unburied remain, 
Inglorious, on the plain ! 
Give the vengeance due 
To the valiant crew. 
Behold how they toss their torches on high. 
How they point to the Persian abodes. 
And glittering temples of their hostile gods ! 
The princes applaud with a furious joy, 
And the king seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy ; 
Thais led the way 
To light him to his prey, 
And, like another Helen, fired another Troy. 

Thus, long ago — 
Ere heaving bellows learned to blow. 

While organs yet were mute — 
Timotheus, to his breathing flute. 
And sounding lyre. 
Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire. 
At last divine Cecilia came, 
Inventress of the vocal frame ; 
The sweet enthusiast, from her sacred store, 
Enlarged the former narrow bounds. 


And added length to solemn sounds, 
With nature's in other- wit, and arts unknown before. 
Let old Timotheus yield the prize, 

Or both divide the crown ; 
He raised a mortal to the skies — 

She drew an angel down. 

The verses from Will Carleton's poem, "The First Settler's Story,'' 
beautifully recited by Miss Moore, were the following : 


Well, when I first infested this retreat, 
Things to my view looked frightful incomplete ; 
But I had come with heart-thrift in my song, 
And brought my Avife and plunder right along ; 
I hadn't a round-trip ticket to go back, 
And if I had, there wasn't no railroad track ; 
And drivin' east was what I couldn't endure : 
I hadn't started on a circular tour. 

My girl-wife was as brave as she was good, 

And helped me every blessed way she could ; 

She seemed to take to every rough old tree. 

As sing'lar as when first she took to me. 

She kep' our little log-house neat as wax, 

And once I caught her fooling with ni}' axe. 

She hadn't the muscle (though she had the heart) 

In out-door work to take an active part ; 

She nris delicious, both to hear and see — 

That pretty girl-wife that kep' house for me. 

One night when I came home unusual late, 
Too hungry and too tired to feel first-rate, 
Hqr supper struck me wrong, (though I'll allow 
She hadn't much to strike with, anyhow) ; 
And when I went to milk the cows, and found 
They'd wandered from their usual feeding ground 
And maybe'd left a few long miles behind 'em, 
Which I must copy, if I meant to find 'em. 
Flash-quick the stay-chains of my temper broke, 
And in a trice these hot words I had spoke : 
" You ought to've kept the animals in view. 
And drove 'em in ; you'd nothing else to do. 
The heft of all our life on me must fall ; 
You just lie 'round, and let me do it all. " 

That speech — it hadn't been gone half a minute 
Before I saw the cold, l)lack poison in it ; 



And I'd have given all I had, and more, 

To've only safely got it back in-door. 

I'm now what most folks " well-to-do " would call : 

I feel to-day as if I'd give it all. 

Provided I through fifty years might reach 

And kill and bury that half-minute speech. 

She handed back no words, as I could hear ; 

She didn't frown ; she didn't shed a tear ; 

Half-proud, half-crushed, she stood and looked me o'er. 

Like some one she had never seen before ! 

But such a sudden, anguish-lit surprise 

I never viewed before in human eyes. 

(I've seen it oft enough since in a dream ; 

It sometimes wakes me like a midnight scream.) 

Next morning, when, stone-faced, but heavy-hearted, 

With dinner-pail and sharpened axe I started 

Away for my day's work — she watched the door, 

And followed me half way to it or more ; 

And I was just a-turning 'round at this, 

And asking for my usual good-by kiss ; 

But on her lip I saw a proudish curve. 

And in her eye a shadow of reserve ; 

And she had shown — perhaps half unawares — 

Some little independent breakfast airs — 

And so the usual parting didn't occur, 

Although her eyes invited me to her ; 

Or rather half invited me, for she 

Didn't advertise to furnish kisses free ; 

You always had — that is, I had — to pay 

Full market-price, and go more'n half the way. 

So, with a short " Good-bj^e, " I shut the door. 

And left her as I never had before. 

But, when at noon my lunch I came to eat. 

Put up by her so delicately neat — 

Choicer, somewhat, than yesterday's had been. 

And some fresh, sweet-eyed pansies she'd put in — 

" Tender and pleasant thoughts, " I knew they meant — 

It seemed as if her kiss with me she'd sent ; 

Then I became once more her humble lover, 

And said, " To-night I'll ask forgiveness of her. " 

I went home over-early on that eve, 
Having contrived to make myself believe, 
By various signs I kind o' knew and guessed, 
A thunder-storm was coming from the west. 
('Tis strange, when one sly reason fills the heart. 


How man}^ honest ones will take its part : 
A dozen first-class reasons said 'twas right 
That I should strike home early on that niglit. ) 

Half out of breath, the cabin door I swung, 

With tender heart-words trembling on my tongue ; 

Rut all within looked desolate and bare : 

Mj house had lost its soul — she was not there ! 

A penciled note was on the table spread, 

And these are somethiug like the words it said : 

" The cows have strayed away again, I fear ; 

I watched them pretty close ; don't scold me, dear. 

And where they are, I think I nearly know : 

I heard the bell not very long ago. . . . 

I've hunted for them all the afternoon ; 

I'll try once more — I think I'll find them soon. 

Dear, if a burden I have been to 3^ou, 

And haven't helped you as I ought to do, 

Let old-time memories my forgiveness plead ; 

I've tried to do my best — I have, indeed. 

Darling, piece out with love the strength I lack, 

And have kind words for me when I get back. " 

Scarce did I give this letter sight and tongue — 

Some swift-blown rain-drops to the window clung. 

And from the clouds a rough, deep growl proceeded : 

My thunder-storm had come, now 'twasn't needed. 

I rushed out-door. The air was stained with black : 

Night had come early, on the storm-cloud's back : 

And everything kept dimming to the sight, 

Save when the clouds threw their electric light ; 

When, for a flash, so clean-cut was the view, 

I'd think I saw her — knowing 'twas not true. 

Through my small clearing dashed wide sheets of spray, 

As if the ocean waves had lost their way ; 

Scarcely a pause the thunder-battle made. 

In the iDold clamor of its cannonade. 

And she, while I was sheltered, dry, and warm. 

Was somewhere in the clutches of this storm ! 

She who, when storm-frights found her at her best. 

Had always hid her white face on my breast ! 

My dog, who'd skirmished round me all the day, 

Now crouched and whimpering, in a corner lay ; 

I dragged him by the collar to the wall, 

I pressed his quivering muzzle to a shawl — 

" Track her, old boy ! " I shouted ; and he whined, 

Matched eyes with me, as if to read my mind, 


Theu witli a yell went tearing tlirouprh the wood. 

I followed him, as faithful as I could. 

No pleasure-trip was that, through flood and Hame ; 

We raced with death ; we hunted nol)le game. 

All night we dragged the woods Avithout avail ; 

The ground got drenched — we could not keep the trail. 

Three times again my cabin home I found, 

Half hoping she might be there, safe and sound ; 

But each time 'twas an unavailing care : 

Aly house had lost its soul ; she was not there ! 

When, climbing the wet trees, next morning-sun 

Laughed at the ruin that the night had done, 

Bleeding and drenched, by toil and sorrow lient, 

Back to what used to be my home I went. 

But as I neared our little clearing-ground — 

Listen ! — I heard the cow-bell's tinkling sound. 

The cabin door was just a bit ajar ; 

It gleamed upon my glad eyes like a star. 

" Brave heart, " I said, " for such a fragile form I 

She made them guide her homeward through the storm ! ' 

Such pangs of joy I never felt before. 

" You've come ! " I shouted, and rushed through the door. 

Yes, she had come — and gone again. She lay 

With all her young life crushed and wrenched away — 

Lay, the heart-ruins of oar home among, 

Not far fi-om where I killed her with my tongue. 

The rain-drops glittered 'mid her hair's long strands, 

The forest thorns had torn her feet and hands, 

And 'midst the tears — brave tears — that one could trace 

Upon the pale but sweetly resolute face, 

I once again the mournful words could read, 

" I've tried to do my best — I have, indeed. " 

And now I'm mostly done ; my story's o'er ; 
Part of it never breathed the air before. 
'Tisn't over-usual, it must be allowed, 
To volunteer heart-history to a crowd, 
And scatter 'mongst them confidential tears, 
But you'll protect an old man with his years ; 
And wheresoe'er this story's voice can reach, 
This is the sermon I would have it preach : 

Boys Hying kites haul in their white-winged birds : 
You can't do that way when you're flying words. 
" Careful with lire, " is good advice, we know : 
" Careful with words, " is ten times doubly so. 



Thouolits unexpressed ma}^ soraetimts fall back dead, 
But God liimself can't kill them when they're said ! 


You have raj life-ffvief : do uot think a uiinute 
'Twas told to take up time. There's business in it. 
It sheds advice : whoe'er will take and live it, 
Is welcome to the pain it costs to give it. 


The final public exercise of the Celebration was the address of Hon. 
Joseph E. Eggleston, county judge of Cortland county, with which we 
conclude this chapter and our " History. " As Judge Eggleston com- 
menced to speak, an incident occurred which would have disconcerted 
most men, but, by his happy treatment of the matter, it was made to 
contribute to, rather than to detract from, the interest manifested in his 
address. The day was intensely hot ; the crowd was large and some- 
what weary ; the boys were having a game of baseball on the grounds ; 
and the gun- club was having some target practice in the neighboring 
grove, all of which contributed to the confusion and noise. To cap 
the climax, just as the Judge commenced to speak, an anxious mother, 
Avho was deaf and did not appreciate the situation, but who wanted to 
hear the speaking, as well as to escape the sun's fierce rays by getting 
under the shade of the awning which covered the speaker's stand, 
mounted the platform with her crying baby, of an unusually dark com- 
plexion, just in front of the speaker, where she commenced promenad- 
ing in her efibrts to quiet her child. Instead of being put out by the 
akward situation, the Judge, in opening, remarked in his usual com- 
manding but good-humored manner : " Everything goes here to-day ;, 
the older people have been talking and now it is time to give the 
babies a chance. " Happily at that moment a kodak was pointed at 
the platform and, with a " snap-shot, " preserved the interesting scene, 
which we are able here to reproduce. 

The address was then delivereci to an attentive and enthusiastic au- 
dience, as follows : 

2Ir. President, Ladies and Gentlemen : 

I deem it a privilege indeed to be present with you upon this happy 
occasion, and I hardly know why the distinguished honor of being 
3'our speaker was given to me, except, perhaps, that it is due to the 
fact that I was born and reared to manhood where I could daily look 
upon the dear old hills of Dry den. 

It may be said that we are at the present time living in an age of 
centennial celebrations, for throughout our land, counties, towns and 
villages are seeking to do homage to the hundredth year birthmark by 
joining in festivities such as we are engaged in to-day. 

A long time ago the poet sang : 

" Breathes there a man with soul so dead, 
Who never to himself hath said 

This is my own, my native land ; 
Whose heart has ne'er Avithin him burned 
As home his footsteps he hath turned 

From wandering on a foreign strand?" 



aucl tliat same spirit of love for your native land fills the breast and 
quickens the blood in the veins of many of you here to-day. 

One hundred years ago this mornino;, the sun, as it gilded yonder 
hillside and lighted up this valley, smilingly looked down upon a scene 
far different from what we now behold. 

The primeval forest had scarcely been disturbed in its solitude, the 
little stream wound its way along the valley secure in all its fastness- 
es, nature was undisturbed in her repose, as a solitary adventurer, 


Plioto h\i J. <;. Ford. 

seeking to find a home in some new country, caught the beauty of the 
location and commenced in a primitive way to break the spell that had 
so long existed and bring the forces of nature in subjection to his will. 

Little did he know how well he builded. 

The ring of the axe disturbed only the birds of the air and the beasts 
of the forest ; the log-cabin, so rudely constructed, produced only as- 
tonishment to animal life as it then existed. There were no herds of 
cattle upon the hillside, no sound of voices to break the silence, no 
one to dispute the rights of this adventurer, for he was monarch of all 
he surveyed, and this was the picture presented a century ago, as the 
calm, soft rays of svimmer then rested upon the laud. 

The entering wedge to future civilization had been driven, a step 


was taken in the advancement of future progress, looking to further 
development of the resources of the country. The soil that had 
known no master but the red man was waiting only to be tilled by the 
hand of tlie white man in order that it might bring forth a bountiful 
harvest in its season, aud the work of this first settler, followed by 
that of others, was the foundation work for the town of Dryden as it 
exists to-day. 

W!iat an interesting study is the settlement of any new country ! 
What hardships were endured ! What self-denial practiced ! What 
labor and energy put forth to furnish sustenance for life ! What joy 
and sadness alternates in quick succession in the lives of those early 
])ioneers. To them it was largelv an experiment, but they entered 
upon their work with a determination to succeed, and in that way the 
victory was half won. It is related of Father Taylor, that, when a 
young man, preaching in Boston, becoming entangled in a long sen- 
tence, he aptly relieved himself as follows : "Brethren, I don't exactly 
know where I went in at the beginning of this sentence and I don't 
know where I am coming out, but one thing I do know, I am bound 
for the kingdom of Heaven." So did these men with an object in view 
bend every energv to accomplish the desired result. 

Reading your Cent*^nnial History I have been impressed with the 
strong individuality of these men, and their plain, common sense, mat- 
ter-of-fact way of doing business. In their seclusion they had time 
and room to think, and another one of their peculiar characteristics 
is their originality. Reflection and solitude are prime factors in form- 
ing a good business education. The average man of to-day is too arti- 
ficial, is too much a creature of society and custom, (when a man gets 
to be a society leader you may generally look for him at the tail end 
of every other procession,) his education has been so conventional 
that it has fettered his originality, by training the irregular growth 
of his genius into set forms, like a vine to its trellis. 

It is the legitimate result, doubtless, of this education in the past that 
a higher degree of alertness has been born of our "brisk social com- 
merce, " that man's sympathetic nature has been cpiickened, that the 
surface virtues in human character have attained to more of polish 
and perfection. The average man of to-day possesses less of the in- 
dividuality, the profundity of thought, the strength of character and 
moral principle that distinguished the generation of our fathers. 

We need the training of seclusion if we would be original. Reflec- 
tion develops the inner man according to the tendencies of his beiug, 
and from such developments tlie radical forces in society are always 
recruited for the conflict with conservatism ; the originality thus grown 
by reflection is the material from which civilization gathers the suc- 
cessive increments of its progress. This discipline of reflection you 
will also find a necessity to the formation of a well-rounded character. 
The solitary maple of the open field attains a symmetry of develop- 
ment, a strength in resistance, that it could never possess if grown in 
the crowded, inter-dependent life of the forest. This self-education 
begets individuality, and success is born of reflection. 


This explains how a lonely shepherd boy in England became her 
great inventor, how a thinking rail splitter in Illinois became Ameri- 
ca's most successful statesman, and a secluded tanner at Galena her 
greatest general ; it may explain to us also why the plow handle has 
come to be the schoolmaster of our statesmen, why the lonely brook- 
side is the cradle of our poets. 

Your town has been honored in being named after one of the world's 
greatest poets, a name beautiful indeed, and one that is dear to you all. 
There is much in a name and in the giving of names to towns in this 
section of our state, and in near proximity to us, one can but admire 
the classical, poetical and historical genius of those persons who so 
furtunately acted as sponsors in those early days. 

Dryden, honored and loved the world over, has a monument thus 
erected to his memory. Within hailing distance poetry finds herself 
remembered in the names of Virgil, Homer and Scott. Classic litera- 
ture finds itself distinguished by such names as Cicero, Marathon, 
Pompey, Tully, Brutus, Aurelius, Scipio and Genoa. The legal lore 
of other days receives recognition at the hands of Cincinnatus, while 
the Prince of Ithaca aud the brave Trojan Ulysses, the one the father, 
the other the son, names renowned in Grecian story, are next door 
neighbors, and designate a city far famed for her halls of learning, and 
a town in rural simplicity filled with prosperous and happy homes. 

What a galaxy of names to conjure with ; what a list of honored 
names of the world's greatest men and most distinguished places, 
famed in ancient history, and here at this time we would invoke all of 
the genius of modern times, music, poetry, eloquence and art, to^^speak 
in their praise. 

Another thought Avhich occurs to me now is the enjoyment we find 
in meeting here upon this occasion. To-day the past rises up before 
us and we seem to live over again the scenes of other days. What 
pleasant memories are recalled, what hallowed associations revived, 
how familiar the trees and rocks and streams look to us. Some of 
you who are older can say : 

"With what a pride I used to walk these hills, 
Look up to Heavsn and bless God 
That it was so. 
It was free, 

From end to end, from clift' to lake, 'twas free ; 
Free as our torrents are, that leap our rocks 
And plow our valleys, without asking leave ; 
How happy was I in it then ! 
I loved its very storms. " 

Time makes rapid changes, we look forward a hundred years and it 
seems a long time, but when we look backward over a hundred years 
how short it seems. Amos Sweet, when he constructed his log cabin, 
which was his castle, and was the sole resident of the town, could not 
in any fiiglit of his imagination, foreshadow the rapid progress civiliza- 


tion would make here. Your happy homes, your cultivated fields, 
your schools and public library, your churches with their spires point- 
ing toward heaven, all tell of the spirit with which they have been 
erected and preserved. In that time you have kept pace with the 
progress of the country, and have helped to write that history of which 
ever}^ American citizen has the right to be proud. 

In that time, as a nation, we have aged a hundred years and the 
work Ave have accomplished has been the wonder of the whole world. 
Who that is capable of patriotic emotions can read and sti^dy that 
history during the past century without feeling a just pride in the 
past, with gratitude for the present and with confidence in the future ! 
O, land of Washington, of Jefierson, of Lincoln and Grant, land of 
statesmen wise and warriors brave, and above all, land of liberty where 
our fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, on this glad day our 
hearts go out in glad praise and thanksgiving to the God of nations 
for that history so resplendent with good deeds. 

In what part of that glorious record which you have helped to 
make, and which you have all been factors in making, is there a 
page that will provoke a blush or a line that will inspire apprehension 
of the future. As the citizen of to-day looks across the extent of the 
country which he rules, and contrasts its condition with the condition 
of the colonies which had just won their independence a little more 
than a century ago, he sees a change so marvelous, a development so 
great, a progress so wonderful that he is almost inclined to doubt his- 
tory itself. He beholds a country which numbered, when it formed 
its government, a population of three millions, now maintaining in all 
their rights over seventy millions of independent citizens. That tree 
of liberty planted by our forefathers has taken deep root in the soil ; 
its branches have become wide-spreading ; its fruit abundant for the 
sustenance of this and other nations, and all of the people ma}' repose 
beneath its shade. In territory it extends from the confines of mon- 
archy on the north to the warm summer clime of the Gulf of Mexico 
on the south : on the east it is washed by the silvery waves of the At- 
lantic, and reaches across hill and valley and plain and mountain until 
it reaches where the waves of the Pacific roll and beat upon the gold- 
en sands of California's shore. 

By rivers whose sources were almost unknown, one now sees count- 
less cities where the footsteps of millions beat upon magnificent high- 
ways ; the waters which were undisturbed save where the dwellers of 
the forest slaked their thirst in them, to-day bear upon their bosoms 
the freighted steamers of a mighty inland commerce which surpasses 
in its extent the wildest anticipations of the founders of this republic. 
In solitudes where the footstep of the hunter had never penetrated, 
where the silence was unbroken except by the roar of the wdd beast, 
is heard the shrill whistle of the locomotive as it bears to the sea- 
board the product of the farm, the shop and factory as the results of 
American industry. 

The flag of our country, the emblem of the free, purchased by the 
best blood of the land ; its red as bright as the blood in which it has 


been bathed, its white as pure as the driven snow, its blue as clear as 
the expanse of heaven, has added to the original thirteen stars, states 
in their sovereion power until at the present day we find it contains a 
grand constellation of forty-five stars. That flag which we carry in 
all its glory to-da}^ is a symbol of power and national strength 
throughout the world. As has been said, " Beneath its folds the 
weakest may find protection and the strongest must obey. " It floats 
alike over the log-cabin in the forest, and the loftiest mansion of the 
millionaire ; over the little red school-house by the roadside, and the 
massive walls of the university, built by wealth and maintained in 
luxurious splendor, " and like the bow of heaven is the child of sun 
and storm. " 

" Is this the land our fathers loved, 

The freedom which they toiled to win. 
Is this the soil on which they moved, 
Are these the graves they slumber in? " 

Yes, this is the land our fathers loved and we are to-day enjoying the 
blessings vouchsafed to us by them, blessings and privileges bestowed 
upon us by reason of their energy, perseverence and economy. But 
we have a lesson to learn to-day. If you shall go from this place 
without entering into the spirit of the occasion, or without feeling a 
just pride in the past and a determination to improve in the future, 
then have you kept the day in vain. 

In reading the history of the pioneer settlement of this country, and 
it is true of your own town, one can but be impressed of the fact that 
these people had implicit faith that they would succeed. In any busi- 
ness, in any undertaking, faith is a necessary ingredient to success and 
a lack of it will in nearly all cases lead to a disastrous failure. I don't 
want any man around me who does not have faith in his work. In 
our work, individual or national, we need the faith of our fathers. 
The learned Bishop Duane says the men to make a state are made 
by faith, and if that be so, the men to protect, to guard, to improve, to 
make substantial progress in national affairs are men stimulated to 
action by faith in their work and the justness of the same. Why, 
faith is a heritage of our people, it was one of the first lessons learned 
and one that should never, no never, be forgotten. A little baud of 
pilgrims, taking their lives in their hands, brave the dangers of the 
ocean wave and seek a home in an unknown land, in order that they 
may be free and independent and enjoy their religion after the dic- 
tates of their own conscience. From the tears and trials of Delft Ha- 
ven, from the deck of the Mayflower to Plymouth Rock, what a step 
in the advancement of American liberty. 

How, on the Avings of the morning, that first prayer ascends to 
Heaven and how beautiful its language: "Father in Heaven, we thank 
thee that thou hath permitted us to place our feet upon these shores. 
In thy hand we leave our destiny, trusting that He Avho hath brought 
us hither will glorify our work to his own good. " What a cross to 


bear, what a beautiful example of faith in the divine providence. 
What a corner stone upon which to rear this, our temple of liberty — 
there upon the eternal rock, beneath the soil and shifting sand, upon 
the basis of equal and exact justice to all men, to lay the foundation of 
the government, broad and deep. Oh, I sometimes think that in our 
worldly ambitions we are drifting away from Plymouth Rock and that 
we lose sight of that implicit faith as shown by those early settlers. 
As I have stood upon that consecrated spot I have thanked God for 
Plymouth Rock. There it stands, washed by the silvery waves of the 
ocean, surrounded now by all of the evidence of wealth and prosperity. 
What a contrast — then it was a cross to bear, now it is a crown to 

My dear friends, we want to live more the simplicity of life of our 
fathers. As a nation we are living too fast. Whenever our expendi- 
tures exceed our earnings we certainly will find our names in the debt- 
or column. Practice a little of the economy and self-denial of those 
early days and we will be the better for it. In our national advance- 
ment let us occasionally go back to Plymouth Rock. We need that 
strength, we need more of that simplicity of life and character, we 
need to pray to God that all of our work ma}^ be acceptable in his 
sight, for I have learned to believe that that nation whose God is the 
Lord will live long and prosper upon this earth. 

The republic was born by the fireside of the American home. It 
was maintained by those heroic women, who, as they spun the flax, 
taught their children to fear Goii and to live within their income. I 
believe that the mother who reared a family of children to manhood 
and womanhood in the log-cabin, such as has been constructed upon 
your grounds for this occasion, and sent them out into the world well 
equipped to engage in life's battles, taught them the lesson of honesty, 
sobriet}' and economy, and above all taught them in youth at her knee 
to say, " Our Father which art in Heaven, " is deserving of being 
classed with those persons who successfully rule a kingdom. While 
we are to-day thinking of our fathers let us not forget our mothers. 
The grand corner stone upon which the wonderful fabric of our form 
of government is builded is the kingdom ruled by woman, the home. 
Some one has said that we could not have put down the Rebellion 
without the aid of the loyal women of the land. In time of war while 
the men were at the front fighting, the women were at home praying, 
and I am not sure but they did as effective work as the men. 

You can find enjoyment in the celebration here to-day for the rea- 
son that you all contributed something toward making the town of 
Dryden the prosperous, beautiful town that it now is. I don't mean 
that you have simply paid money to be used upon this occasion or 
that you have builded houses and blocks or accumulated wealth. No, 
I mean that ^'ou have given something far more precious and long 
to be remembered than that. Go with me to your two beautiful cem- 
eteries, where the roses now bloom, and where the green grass covers 
the graves of your silent dead. There I find cut in granite and mar- 
ble names that I read in vour history, illustrious and honored names, 


the numbers are legion, names that are dear to you, and the same that 
many of you bear to-day. The same blood that once coursed in their 
veins, and gave them strength and activity to do their work, now 
courses in your veins, that 3^ou may have continued strength and activ- 
ity to pursue and perpetuate, to perfection as near as it may be at- 
tained, the work laid out and planned by them. Year after year you 
have borne to that final resting place the father, mother, husband, wife, 
brother, sister, and child, giving back to earth the body, and the spirit 
to God, who gave it, retaining only sweet and blessed memories of 
those dear ones. This is the precious gift that you have made and 
how it must touch your hearts at this time. 

There is an old story that always had a charm for me : In some 
strange land and time they were about to cast a bell for a mighty 
tower, a hollow, starless heaven of iron. It should toll for dead mon- 
archs, the king is dead, and make glad clamor for the new prince, long- 
live the king, it should proclaim so great a passion or so grand a 
pride that either should be worship, or wanting these, forever hold 
its peace. Now this bell was not to be digged out of the cold moun- 
tain, it was to be made with something that had been warmed by 
human touch, or loved with a human love, and so the people came, 
like pilgrims to a shrine, and cast their offerings into the furnace and 
went away. There were links of chains that bondsmen had worn 
bright, and fragments of swords that had broken in heroes' hands, 
they even brought things that were licked up in an instant by the red 
tongue of flame, good words they had written and flowers they had 
cherished, perishable things that could never be heard in the rich 
t(me and volume of the bell. And the fires panted like a strong man 
when he runs a race, and the mingled gifts flowed down together 
and were lost in the sand. And the dome of iron was drawn out 
like Leviathan. And by and by the bell was alone in its chamber and 
its four windows looked forth to the four quarters of heaven. For 
many a day the bell hung silent in the tower and the wind came and 
went and only set it sighing. At last there came a time when men 
grew grand for right and truth and stood shoulder to shoulder o'er all 
the land, and went down like reapers to the harvest death, looked into 
the graves of them that slept and believed that there was something- 
grander than living, something more bitter than dying, and so, stand- 
ing between the quick and dead, they quitted themselves like men. 
Then the old bell awoke in the tower and the great waves of its music 
rolled gloriously out, and broke along the blue walls of the world 
like an anthem, and every tone in it was familiar as a household word 
to somebody, because they had placed their treasure in it. 

So, ni}' dear friends, it seems to me that at this time, as we join in 
these exercises and lift our voices in song and praise, as the music 
shall float upon the air, every tone in it will be familiar to you all, for 
you have brought your treasure here. 

One thought more in conclusion. What of the future of our coun- 
try ? Thus far we have been thinking of the past. That is, however, 
an utter waste of time, unless it stimulates us to new activitv in our 


work and inspires us with new hope for the future. " To-day the man 
who tells us what we have done, must stand aside for the man who 
will tell us what we ought to do. " The opportunity for future ad- 
vancement is as great to-day as it was a hundred years ago, the les- 
sons to be learned as important now as then. There are great ques- 
tions yet to be determined which invite your most earnest considera- 

Where are the men who will solve the problem of how to reconcile 
the conflict between capital and labor, and cause them to go hand in 
hand, to the mutual benefit of employer and employed. To what 
school shall we go, and at the knee of what teachers shall we kneel 
that we may learn the economic lesson of living within our income, of 
paying our debts as we go along? Who will be the statesmen, mas- 
ters in the science of government, who, knowing what is right, will 
dare to stand up and with massive intellect and giant arm break into 
fragments every monopoly which seeks to fetter, oppress or rob the 
people ? 

Again, the voice of your government is such that it welcomes within 
its jurisdiction people from all climes and countries, guaranteeing to 
all who shall come protection to life and property. The flow of immi- 
gration to this country at this time is wonderful, and how are you to 
receive the thousands who are seeking refuge within your borders ? 
You must furnish them homes, you must educate them, you must 
surround them with the influence of the Christian religion ; aye, you 
must make them citizens, as they have the right to demand it. 

Freedom at the ballot l30x, purity of elections, the election of honest 
men to places of trust, these are important matters and must ever be 
guarded with zealous care. 

You will doubtless remember the letter of Lord Macauley to the 
Hon. Henry S. Randall, of Cortland, in which letter Macauley prophe- 
sied that the time would come when the people of this nation would 
fail to intelligentl}' perform their duties and when they would ignor- 
antly allow bad men to be elected to places of trust and thus bring our 
government into anarchy and confusion. But Macauley spoke as 
one having knowledge of a monarchial form of government and where 
the people are kept in ignorance. He knew not of the little school- 
houses which dot our landscape, of the institutions of learning which 
are found in nearly every square mile of our territory and which are 
the jewels that shine brightest in the crown of American liberty. In 
making that prophesy Macauley had in mind English society and not 
American. In England the society is like the crusts of the earth, one 
above the other, strata upon strata, the royalty, the nobility, the aris- 
tocracy, and down strata by strata until on the bottom are found the 
peasantry and common people. People in one strata never rise to the 
next, unless by some volcano-like eruption in society or b}^ the over- 
throw of the government, the lower stratas break through the overly- 
ing crusts and come up. Such are the people of England and for such 
reasons were certain rights not given to the lower classes. Were the 
powers of the government submitted to them, anarchy and confusion 


would at first follow. But the sociey of America may be likened to the 
ocean, where the drop of water which to-day lies down in darkness on 
the rocky bottom, to-morrow may be glittering in the sunlight, riding 
on the crest of the topmost wave. The strength of our government is 
found in the fact that the power is vested in the common people. 
Were our country in danger to-day you would witness the same sub- 
lime response of the people to the rescue as you did in '76, when they 
said "Give us liberty or give us death ;" when they said "The Union 
shall remain one and inseparable forever;" when they said there 
should be no Hag but the old flag, the red, white and blue, and bathed 
it in the best blood of the land. 

I have no fear for the future of my country and the picture of to-day 
encourages me to indulge in the brightest visions. We never sing the 
old song " America, " without its making us better ; there is more mu- 
sic in it to the square inch, than any opera that was ever written. 

Then this sea of happy faces coming from so many pleasant homes, 
the click of the mowing machine heard in the meadow, the fields of 
waving golden grain almost ready for the reaper, God forbid that any- 
thing should ever occur to mar the beauty of such a scene. 

I call upon you, old men whose brows have become furrowed by 
time, whose step is somewhat feeble, whose hair has become silvered 
by the snows of many winters, whose memories go back far beyond 
mine, to see to it that the fires kindled upon the hearths of our fathers 
be kept alive. I call upon you, young men, as you shall grow up in 
the strength of your manhood, heirs of a rich inheritance, to remember 
whose sons you are. Oh, let me appeal to you all, that in the great 
conflict of life, where right is at war against wrong, where truth and 
falsehood walk side by side through our streets and vice and virtue 
meet and pass every hour of the day, you enlist in the great army 
with those who, disheartened by no obstacle, discouraged by no de- 
feat, appalled by no danger, neither paused nor swerved from their 
clear line of duty until the battlefields of the past have been strewn 
with the wrecks of what was false, and truth and justice and right have 
triumphed in the glory of victory. " Whatsoever things are true, 
whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever 
things are lovely, " think on these things, let your voice be raised in 
their behalf, let your work be earnest, and when others shall speak to 
your praise and tell the story of your deeds, they will rise up and call 
you blessed. 

" Who'll press for gold this crowded street 

A hundred years to come ? 
Who'll tread yon church with willing feet 

A hundred years to come ? 
Pale, trembling age, and fiery youth, 
And childhood with its brow of truth, 
The rich, the poor, on land and sea. 
Where will the mighty millions be 

A hundred years to come ? 


" We all within our graves shall slee]) 
A hundred years to come. 
No living soul for us shall weep 

A hundred years to come. 
But other men our land will till, 
And others then our streets will fill, 
And other birds will sing as gay. 
And bright the sunshine as to-day 
A hundred vears to come." 

Rouse's Bookhouse 

irlaliTinn in Mirhiaani 


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" We all within our graves shall sleep 
A hundred years to come. 
No living soul for us shall weep 

A hundred years to come. 
But other men our land will till, 
And others then our streets will fill, 
And other birds will sing as gay. 
And bright the sunshine as to-day 
A hundred vears to come." 

Rouse's Bookhouse 

«;Decializinq in Michigan!